An eight-goal thriller at Colchester United

Colchester United v Walsall.

Colchester United v Walsall. - Credit: Archant

Colchester United 4 Walsall 4

Colchester United were involved in an eight-goal thriller against high-flying Walsall this afternoon.

The U’s came from 2-0 down at half-time to almost make it back-to-back home wins, following the midweek success over Port Vale, only for James O’Connor to grab a 92nd minute equaliser.

Romaine Sawyers, Milan Lalkovic, George Evans and O’Connor scored for Walsall, but George Moncur, Marvin Sordell, Owen Garvan and Darren Ambrose replied for the U’s.

It was a superb afternoon’s entertainment, made all the more remarkable by the fact that Walsall had only conceded two goals in their previous seven away league games.

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Sawyers enjoyed the freedom of the U’s penalty area to put Walsall ahead, in the 11th minute.

The Saddlers midfielder was unmarked, when receiving Anthony Forde’s pass, and he beat Jamie Jones with a terrific finish, his 15-yard shot flying into the far corner of the net.

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Walsall doubled their lead on the half-hour mark, as Lalkovic’s speculative long-range shot took a deflection on its way into the roof of the net.

Back came Colchester, with Ambrose twice setting up goals early in the second half.

Firstly, Ambrose found Moncur on the edge of the box, and the U’s midfielder turned to send a pinpoint shot curling beyond the reach of keeper Craig MacGillivray and into the top corner of the net.

Having pulled it back to 2-1 in the 49th minute, the U’s were on level terms just three minutes later as Sordell steered home Ambrose’s low cross from the right.

Walsall restored their lead in the 56th minute, Manchester City loanee Evans drilling home the loose ball from just inside the penalty area.

But the excitement continued, with Garvan replying for the U’s with the equaliser to make it 3-3 in the 59th minute.

The Saddlers only half-cleared a corner, but there seemed little danger until Garvan rammed a spectacular half-volley into the far corner of the net.

And Ambrose then popped up with the U’s fourth in the 79th minute, gleefully diverting home Callum Harriott’s excellent low cross.

But there were six minutes of injury time, and in the second of these, defender O’Connor buried a chance from close-in, after the U’s had failed to clear a corner, to make it 4-4.


COLCHESTER: Jones, Olufemi, Kent, Eastman, Elokobi, Garvan, Gilbey, Moncur (sub Edwards, 88), Ambrose, Sordell, Harriott (sub Sembie-Ferris, 79). Unused subs: Parish, Szmodics, Bonne, Lapslie, James.

WALSALL: MacGillivray, Demetriou, Downing, Evans (sub Flanagan, 87), Taylor, O’Connor, Chambers, Forde (sub Cook, 62), Swayers, Bradshaw, Lalkovic (sub Morris, 62), Unused subs: Baxendale, Preston, Kinsella, Jezeph.

Referee: Seb Stockbridge

Attendance: 3,630 (287 away fans)

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