Antonio brings down the Spireites
Chesterfield 0 Colchester United 1
MICHAIL Antonio struck after half-an-hour as Colchester United notched their first away win since the opening day success at Preston, at the expense of hosts Chesterfield this afternoon.
Ian Henderson’s snap shot, from a corner, was blocked by a defender, but Antonio made no mistake from the rebound, slamming a 10-yard shot through a sea of legs and into the net.
It was a great finish from star man Antonio, who has so impressed since his loan move from Reading.
Ben Williams made a couple of key saves, either side of half-time, but the U’s comfortably held onto their lead during the second half.
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Chesterfield had begun strongly and could have gone ahead early on, most notably when flying winder Alex Mendy cut inside Ben Coker and lashed a shot wide on 11 minutes.
Ben Williams then allowed a back pass from Pat Baldwin to bounce over his foot and roll towards his unguarded goal. Fortunately for the U’s keeper, the ball rolled narrowly wide of the far post.
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Otherwise, it would have been shades of Blackburn Rovers all over again, when keeper Aidan Davison’s complete mis-kick from Kevin Watson’s back pass allowed Rovers to score the first in a 3-0 win in an FA Cup tie.
The U’s began to get a foothold into the game midway through the first-half, and livewire Antonio caused problems with a surging run that ended with Andy Bond lifting his shot over the bar.
Antonio continued to look the most dangerous player on the park, so it was no surprise when he broke the deadlock for the U’s on the half-hour mark.
Eight minutes later and Kayode Odejayi could have doubled the U’s lead. He latched onto Coker’s low cross, but could not direct his shot beyond keeper Greg Fleming from just eight yards out.
Williams made sure that the U’s were still 1-0 up at half-time, thanks to two excellent saves to deny striker Craig Westcarr on 32 and 45 minutes.
Williams also denied the Spireites inside the first 60 seconds of the second period. Winger Alex Mendy homed in on goal, but could not find a way past the U’s keeper, who diverted the shot around his near post.
Chesterfield were denied by the woodwork in the 57th minute. Leon Clarke’s close range shot, at full stretch from Westcarr’s cross, rebounded back off the far past and Coker turned the ball behind for a corner.
The home side had appeals for a penalty turned down in the 75th minute, when Clarke hit the deck under a challenge from Magnus Okuonghae inside the box. But referee Dean Mohareb waved play on.
However, the U’s were quite comfortable during the last 15 minutes to complete an excellent away-day.