Colchester cruise to victory

COLCHESTER'S preparations for the big kick off in two weeks time seems to be progressing rather nicely after a 5-1 win at Dagenham and Redbridge.

Dagenham &Redbridge 1 (Benson 34)

Colchester United 5 (D. Hammond 15, Wordsworth 53, 90, White 62, Wasiu 75)

COLCHESTER'S preparations for the big kick off in two weeks time seems to be progressing rather nicely after a 5-1 win at Dagenham and Redbridge.

A step up in the standard of opponent, played in hot and sticky conditions ensured that it was a good work out for Geraint Williams's men.

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Colchester were missing record signing Steven Gillespie, who had a tight thigh following the midweek win over Chelmsford City as well as Phil Ifil still recovering from an appendix operation.

Williams also had to change his goalkeeper just before kick off; Dean Gerken limped out after injuring his groin in the warm up. Chris Coyne was rested for the afternoon.

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Keeping possession of the ball certainly helps in these conditions and Colchester did that pretty well during the early stages at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium.

The visitors worked the first chance of the match with a decent passing move resulting in the ball ending up at the feet of Anthony Wordsworth; his shot was gobbled up by Dagenham keeper Tony Roberts.

In-form Mark Yeates also posed a threat playing on the right side of midfield playing in the couple of dangerous crosses. It was perhaps no surprise that the first goal of the afternoon came from Colchester's right flank; the only surprise being was that Yeates wasn't involved.

Nevertheless it was a wonderfully crafted opening goal by the U's started with a defence splitting pass by John White. Dean Hammond got to the ball and delicately clipped the ball over Roberts and into the back of the net.

The goal however seemed to galvanise the League Two side who worked themselves back on level terms by the break. Mark Cousins was first forced into action just on the half hour mark; fending off a stinging shot from Sam Saunders after the midfielder had fired in an effort from the edge of the area.

The Daggers got their equaliser minutes later. The U's this time lost possession in midfield, allowing Mark Nwokeji to roll in a low cross for Paul Benson to force the ball beyond Cousins, despite the keeper getting a hand to the shot.

If the half time instructions were to get a few more efforts on goal then the Colchester players certainly listened to their manager. Almost as soon as the second half got underway Roberts was forced to push efforts from Yeates and John Jackson behind for corners.

The visitors' greater ambitions were rewarded with a terrific second goal. Wordsworth should get all the credit, picking up the ball on the half way line before driving through the midfield and unleashing a twenty yard shot that saw the ball go in off a post.

The third came from even further out. Full back White powered in a shot from all off thirty yards. It bamboozled Roberts who stood and watched as the ball rocketed into the corner of the net.

Williams gave his starting line up 75 minutes before making the first of his substitutions. Those who came on included midweek signing Akanni-Sunday Waisu, who announced his arrival immediately after entering the field.

Waisu is certainly enjoying his summer in Essex, and he netted his fourth goal of pre-season with his first touch. The Nigerian striker latched onto a scuffed shot from Jackson before demonstrating terrific composure in moving the ball beyond Roberts for Colchester's fourth goal of the afternoon.

Cousins made stops to prevent Gain and Jon Boardman from scoring late on for the Daggers before the Wordsworth finished off the scoring right at the end, blasting home after Medy Elito's header came off the bar.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Roberts, Alaile (Nurse 45), Uddin, Arber (Boardman 65), Griffiths, Saunders, Taiwo (Tejan-Sie, 65 mins), Gain, Green (Graham 60), Benson (Strevens 60), Nwokeji. Sub not used: Hogan.

Colchester: Cousins, White, Reid, Heath (J. Hammond 85), Lockwood, Yeates (Elito 74), Jackson, D. Hammond (Izzet 74), Wordsworth, Platt, Vernon (Wasiu 74). Sub not used: Quintyn.

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