10-man U's hang on

Coca-Cola League OneOldham Athletic 2 Colchester United 2TEN-MAN Colchester United were left hanging for a point after throwing away a two goal lead at Boundary Park.

Stuart Watson

Coca-Cola League One

Oldham Athletic 2 Colchester United 2

TEN-MAN Colchester United were left hanging for a point after throwing away a two goal lead at Boundary Park.

The U's took the lead through David Fox's 12th minute near post strike and doubled their advantage five minutes after the break when Kayode Odejayi headed home Anthony Wordsworth's free-kick.

Marc Tierney's 55th minute red card changed the game though, the left-back picking up a second yellow for kicking the ball away against his former club.

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Oldham halved the deficit through Chris Taylor's penalty in the 63rd minute and, following wave after wave of attack, they deservedly equalised in the 88th minute when Ryan Brookes headed home.

U's boss Aidy Boothroyd made two changes to the side which drew 2-2 with Exeter City. Kevin Lisbie and John-Joe O'Toole both returned to the midfield at the expense of Simon Hackney and Phil Ifil.

Colchester may have led at the break in this game, but Oldham had given a good account of themselves in a rain soaked first 45 minutes.

The U's were fortunate to stay level after four minutes when keeper Ben Williams, having completely missed a cross, was lucky to see Chris Taylor's shot hit his prone body and go over the bar.

Colchester got good crosses into the box in the opening stages as Kevin Lisbie, Kayode Odejayi and John-Joe O'Toole all headed wide.

Fox gave the U's the lead in the 12th minute when Oldham failed to clear their lines from an Anthony Wordsworth corner. The ball pinballed about in the box before the midfielder rifled through the legs of keeper Darryl Flahavan at the near post.

After that though the home side knocked the ball around well in the rain and, on separate occasions, both John White and Marc Tierney had to be on hand with important blocks in the box.

The rain came down in buckets at the break, but Colchester flew out of the blocks and extended their lead after 50 minutes. Wordsworth whipped in a free-kick from deep left and Odejayi steered a neat header back across the keeper for his seventh goal of the season.

Colchester's cause was not helped in the 55th minute when Tierney was shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball away. Lisbie was sacrificed for Phil Ifil soon afterwards, the disappointed winger refusing the hand of Boothroyd on his way off the pitch.

Buoyed by their one-man advantage, Oldham reduced the deficit in the 63rd minute courtesy of a Chris Taylor penalty. Magnus Okuonghae mistimed his challenge in the box on the forward who then stepped up to smash home the resultant spot-kick.

It was one-way traffic from that point on as time and time again Oldham pressed forward.

Boothroyd brought on Kemi Izzet and Paul Reid as defensive reinforcements as the visitors often rode their luck.

Dangerous winger Joe Colbeck saw a low cross fizz across the goalmouth, while Danny Batth did well to head away near the goal line.

Williams made a superb stop from sub Ryan Brooke's header in the 86th minute, although the proceeding corner had curled out of play first, as Oldham continued to press.

Colchester's resistance was finally broken with two minutes to go when substitute Ryan Brooke headed in fellow replacement Keigan Parker's cross from close range for a deserved equaliser.

Oldham: Darryl Flahavan, Andy Holdsworth, Lee Hills (Ryan Brooke 77), Sean Gregan (cpt), Reuben Hazell, Joe Colbeck, Chris Taylor, Danny Whitaker, Alex Marrow, Deane Smalley (Keigan Parker 81), Nick Blackman.

Unused Subs: Dean Brill, Joe Jacobson, Kieran Lee, Dale Stephens, Paul Black.

Booked: Colbeck (52).

Colchester: Ben Williams, John White, Marc Tierney, Magnus Okuonghae (cpt), Danny Batth, Kevin Lisbie (Phil Ifil 58), Anthony Wordsworth, David Fox (Kemi Izzet 68), John-Joe O'Toole, Clive Platt, (Paul Reid 80), Kayode Odejayi.

Unused Subs: Mark Cousins, Simon Hackney, Steven Gillespie, Matt Heath.

Booked: Tierney (41 + 55), White (90).

Sent-Off: Tierney (55).

U's Man-of-the-Match: Jon-Joe O'Toole.

Attendance: 3,607.

Referee: Mr E L Ilderton.

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