Fantastic U’s hit Crewe for six!
PUBLISHED: 21:35 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 22:21 21 August 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Colchester United 6 Crewe 0
Colchester United were in fantastic form tonight, blitzing Crewe Alexandra to extend their unbeaten start to their League Two campaign.
The super U’s helped themselves to six quality goals to send out a message to the rest of League Two – they mean business this season.
The U’s were in cruise control and 3-0 up inside the first half-hour, boosted by a fourth minute opener from Frankie Kent, and then a deadly brace from star man Brennan Dickenson on eight and 27 minutes.
And John McGreal’s men did not let up in the second period, scoring three more goals with Ryan Jackson (59), substitute Luke Norris (74) and Tom Lapslie (77) all on target.
Crewe could simply not handle the U’s free-flowing, attacking style of play.
It was certainly one of the best Colchester home displays seen for many years, and bodes well for the rest of the season.
The U’s started in very positive fashion, no doubt buoyed by Szmodics’ 95th minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Mansfield on Saturday.
And Szmodics was causing a nuisance within the first two minutes with an angled drive which was blocked at the near post by defender Nicky Hunt.
But Crewe were soon trailing, via Kent’s fourth minute opener.
Visiting keeper, Dave Richards, ventured out of his six-yard box but failed to deal with a free-kick, and from then on there was pinball in the danger-zone.
Szmodics’ shot was hacked off the goal-line, but team-mate Kent was on hand to lift the loose ball into the roof of the net from point blank range.
It was all Colchester, and Kane Vincent-Young controlled a cross by Dickenson before seeing his shot charged down for a corner, on seven minutes, with Szmodics waiting for any convenient rebound.
Just 60 seconds later and the U’s were celebrating a second goal, to make it 2-0 in the eighth minute.
And it was a cracking strike from Dickenson, who let fly with his trademark left-foot from just outside the penalty area. His rocket shot flew past a dazed Richards and into the corner of the net.
Crewe were rocking, and Dickenson so nearly sent Frank Nouble powering free into the box, only for his pass to be cut out by an outstretched boot in the 14th minute.
The visitors did not threaten until the 18th minute when former U’s striker Chris Porter registered a goal-bound header which was comfortably saved by keeper Dillon Barnes. This is Porter’s second season with the Railwaymen, following his switch from Colchester after three years with the Essex club.
Two minutes later and Harry Pickering, operating as a left winger for Crewe, let fly with an angled drive which appeared to be blocked by one of his own team-mates.
The U’s threatened a third goal in the 24th minute. Dickenson pounced onto Courtney Senior’s pass and connected with a rising shot which was deflected over the bar for a corner.
However, Dickenson was not to be denied, and the U’s left-sided specialist celebrated scoring his second and the U’s third in the 27th minute.
Crewe’s defence, and keeper Richards, failed to deal with Ryan Jackson’s long throw into the six-yard box. The ball sailed over everyone for Dickenson, lurking at the far post, to blast a shot from point blank range into the roof of the net.
Crewe continued to struggle to cope with any ball propelled into their box, and left-back Perry Ng had to be alert to head Dickenson’s dangerous free-kick behind for a corner, just after the half-hour mark.
Senior was homing in on goal in the 37th minute, chasing onto Dickenson’s excellent through ball, only for keeper Richards to save with an outstretched hand.
Frank Nouble, searching for his goal for the U’s, had a good chance in the 55th minute, but he sliced his shot horribly wide at the near upright.
A minute later and the home side were peppering the target again. Senior’s shot was hoofed off the goal-line, and the follow-up from Szmodics was also charged down.
But Jackson did add the U’s fourth, from a swift breakaway in the 59th minute.
The goal ironically came from Crewe’s first corner of the game, with the U’s breaking in devastating fashion. Senior’s shot was superbly parried by keeper Richards, who had come well off his line, but Jackson was in the right place to crash home the rebound from the edge of the box.
Norris had only been on the pitch for eight minutes when he crashed home the U’s fifth, on 74 minutes, and just five minutes later Lapslie steered home Dickenson’s cross for the sixth.
COLCHESTER: Barnes, Jackson, Prosser (sub Eastman, 78), Kent, Vincent-Young, Lapslie, Pell, Senior (sub Collins, 72), Szmodics, Dickenson, Nouble (sub Norris, 66). Unused subs: Ross, Comley Wright, Mandron.
CREWE: Richards, Hunt (sub Bowery, 46), Ray (sub Raynes, 46) Nolan, Ng, Jones, Wintle, Green, Pickering (sub Walker, 58), Porter, Nicholls. Unused subs: Garratt, Miller, Ainley, Kirk.
Referee: Neil Hair (Hunts)
Attendance: 2,842 (153 away fans)