Colchester United – 4 (Porter 62’ , Lee 71’, Gilbey 72’, Brindley 87’)
Doncaster Rovers – 1 (McSheffrey 22’)
25th March 2016
Weston Holmes Community Stadium, Colchester
Sky Bet League One
Darren Ferguson brought in experienced forward Gary McSheffery on loan from rivals Scunthorpe United this week looking for an older head in this vital relegation run-in.
However he will have to thank Norwich City loanee Remi Matthews for his superb save in the opening five minutes, a clipped ball over the top by Owen Garven was picked up by winger Gavin Massey who sold Cedric Evina a dummy before firing the ball across the box.
Up rose Chris Porter to head the ball into the direction of the bottom right corner but out came the legs of Matthews to force the ball wide of his goal and out for a corner.
It took 22 minutes for Rovers to have the first meaningful effort on target and it turned out to be the opening goal of the affair, a lovely cultured pass from James Coppinger was picked up by McSheffery who beat Colchester’s poor defensive line.
With everyone baying for the offside flag from the assistant, McSheffrey ran through un-challenged to cooly slot his right-footed effort past the onrushing Elliot Parish.
On the stroke of half time Colchester could have been awarded a penalty for a foul on Elliot Lee, the winger smartly took a touch inside to sucker Aaron Taylor-Sinclair into the challenge but referee Kevin Friend was unconvinced by the penalty appeals.
Half Time: Colchester United 0-1 Doncaster Rovers
Colchester came out a completely different side than the one that ended the first, on the 48th minute the signs were already beginning to show.
Lively centre midfielder Alex Gilbey dropped a shoulder before letting fly from 20 yards, luckily for Matthews in the Rovers goal the ball cannoned off the post before getting smashed away from any danger by Andy Butler.
Just after the hour mark the score line was level, a sweeping move from left to right saw winger Massey pass Evina with ease before laying the ball across the six-yard box to Porter who had the easy job of placing his effort in the bottom left corner.
Nine minutes later the host’s turned the game on it’s head and took the lead, a sensational goal from Lee as he cut in from the left hand side to unleash a curler into the bottom right corner to send the home fans into fever pitch.
The tie was all-but over on the 72nd minute as Colchester made it three, if you thought that their second was worthy of winning any tie the third was even better.
The U’s regained possession almost instant after Rovers restarted play, Gilbey picked up the balled and hit a 25-yard thunderbolt that arrowed into Matthew’s top right corner.
With less than three minutes to go of the standard 90 minutes Colchester made it four. Geroge Moncur picked up a loose ball and ran the length of the Rovers half before spreading the ball across the box to substitute Richard Brindley who slotted home into an empty net.
Full Time: Colchester United 4-1 Doncaster Rovers
CUFC STARTING XI: Parish, Garvan, Edwards, Gilbey, Porter (Bonne 83’), Moncur, Massey, Lee (Brindley 79’), Eastman, Shorey, Chambers (Kent 16’).
CUFC SUBS NOT USED: Barnes, Wright, Lapslie, Ambrose.
DRFC STARTING XI: Matthews, Evina (MacKenzie 63’), Butler, McSheffrey, Tyson, Taylor-Sinclair, Rowe, Coppinger (Calder 72’), Stewart (Williams 66’), Middleton, Alcock.
DRFC SUBS NOT USED: Stuckmann, Chaplow, Keegan, Mandeville.