Baldwin comes through unscathed

COLCHESTER United first team coach, Joe Dunne, was encouraged by the performance of his young guns during yesterday's 3-3 draw against an experienced Ipswich Town Reserves side.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United first team coach, Joe Dunne, was encouraged by the performance of his young guns during yesterday's 3-3 draw against an experienced Ipswich Town Reserves side.

First-team centre-half Pat Baldwin enjoyed 90 minutes of action for the U's second string, on his comeback trail following a nine-month struggle against knee and shoulder injuries.

And fellow senior players Sunday-Akanni Wasiu and Fabian Batchelor were both amongst the goalscorers as the U's look forward to this Saturday's League One test at Crewe Alexandra.


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But it was the contribution of the youth team players that caught the eye for Dunne.

“I'm very pleased with the commitment of the young lads, and their ability to keep trying to be positive. This was a great opportunity for some of them to play against some experienced opponents,” insisted Dunne.

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“The plan was to get at Ipswich early on, and try to get on top of them. We knew that they would at some time enjoy a lot of the ball and come strong at the end. And I thought we did that well.

“But this was an opportunity not to be sniffed at. Young Alex O'Leary (first year youth teamer) did well on the left and had a hand in Fabian's (Batchelor) goal.

“And of course the main thing was that Pat (Baldwin) came through 90 minutes. It wasn't our intention to play him for the whole game, but he was really enjoying it so he stayed on,” added Dunne.

Baldwin injured his knee against Peterborough at the start of the year, and his comeback game at West Brom at the end of March only lasted for five minutes. A dislocated shoulder required an operation and another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Baldwin revealed: “I'm happy to last the 90 minutes. I didn't feel as bad as I thought, although I'm a bit leggy.

“That was my first proper game for nearly nine months, so I've still got a lot of work to do. But I'm ready to do a job, either for the reserves or the first team.

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