Colchester United 1 DONCASTER ROVERS 2
Attendance – 3,262 (434 visitors)
Referee – Mr G Sutton (Sussex)
It was a bright, warm autumnal afternoon for the Rovers’ first visit to the new stadium at Colchester. Set at the side of the main road into the town it is surrounded by fields. One thing though you can’t miss it when you come from the west.
The Rovers defended the North Stand end where their supporters were housed. The Rovers spent the early minutes on the attack and took the lead in the third minute when a poor throw out by Cousins, the Colchester keeper, went straight Keegan on the Rovers right. He fed COTTERILL and from around 30yards he dispatched a cracking shot past the keeper into the roof of the net. The Rovers continued to have the better of things until the 12th minute when the U’s got into the Rovers half and were awarded a free kick about 30yards out. Bond took it and went for goal, the ball bounced off Gary Woods chest and was put out for a corner to the home team. This was headed away by Jones but straight to Massey on the Colchester left from where he fired high and well wide of the far post. General midfield play ensued as the home team got more into the game and in the 21st minute they won a free kick 35 yards out which Rose shot high over the bar. A few minutes later clever play by Sears put him in on goal from the left but Woods blocked his effort at the near post at the expense of a corner. The ball came out to Massey but he fired high and wide. As the half hour came up the home team pressed hard winning successive corners, the second of which brought a goal when OKUONGHAE received on the edge of the penalty area and hit a low shot that hit the keeper’s right hand post rolled along the goalline and hitting the unsuspecting Gary Woods before rolling into the net. The U’s continued to enjoy possession and a free kick by Rose in the 35th minute from the edge of the penalty area was shot into the wall and Rose followed up to shoot high and over. Four minutes later a good move from the Colchester left resulted in Bean crashing the ball against the bar from just inside the area but this time it rebounded away and cleared. Then, a great through ball by Bennett put Syers in with a clear sight of goal but from the edge of the area he fired wide. The Rovers came again and Syers fed Bennett on the left. He cut in but his low shot was saved by Cousins. Half time arrived with the Rovers on the attack.
Half Time – Colchester United 1 Doncaster Rovers 1
The Rovers came out for the second half and went straight on to the attack. In the 48th minute they won a free kick on their left which Cotterill chipped into the six yard box where BOND chested it down facing his own goal and saw it go past his keeper into the net to put the Rovers in front. A couple of minutes later and another free kick from Cotterill was played inside to Bennett but he fired high and wide. Then a long throw by Spurr from the Rovers left gave Brown a chance at the near post but it was blocked and put out for another throw from the same place. This time Brown failed to connect at the far post. Ten minutes in and Colchester got into the game when they won a corner on their left. It came out of the Rovers defence to Massey on the home right but his shot was deflected for a corner. On the hour a free kick to Colchester as cleared. The game evened out a bit after this and was mainly played out in midfield with neither keeper unduly troubled. As the last fifteen minutes came up the home team tried very hard to get something from the game but Jones in particular and his fellow defenders kept them at bay. The final whistle went on a good win for the Rovers.
Result – Colchester United 1 ( Okuonghae 30 mins) Doncaster Rovers 2 (Cotterill 3 mins, 48 mins)
Teams – Colchester United – Mark Cousins; Brian Wilson, Magnus Okuonghae, Tom Eastman, Michael Rose; Freddie Sears, Kem Izzett, Andy Bond, Marcus Bean, Ian Henderson, Gavin Massey
Subs used – Clinton Morrison for Bond 63 mins; Anthony Wordsworth for Izzet 75 mins;
Subs not used – Matt Heath, Karl Duguid, John-Joe O’Toole, John White, Carl Pentney gk
Cautions – Wilson 69 mins; Okuonghae 90+1 mins;
ROVERS – Gary Woods; Paul Quinn, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones, Tommy Spurr; David Cotterill, David Syers, Paul Keegan, Martin Woods; Kyle Bennett, Chris Brown
Subs used – James Husband for Bennett 71 mins; James Harper for Syers 77 mins; Iain Hume for Brown 82 mins
Subs not used – Shelton Martis, Robbie Blake, Neil Sullivan gk
Caution – M Woods 27 mins; Keegan 45 mins; G Woods 90 + 4 mins;