U’s produce sensational display to inflict big defeat on Newport
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Colchester United 3 Newport County 0
Colchester United produced a scintillating display against Newport County to bolster their play-off hopes in a one-sided encounter at the JobServe Community Stadium this afternoon.
First-half goals by Sammie Szmodics and man of the match Courtney Senior put the U’s firmly in the driving seat, before Frank Nouble obliged with a stunning goal just after the hour mark, against his former club, to kill off the Welsh visitors.
Szmodics struck in the 20th minute, with his 12th goal of the season.
Ryan Jackson launched himself at a lofted ball delivered by Nouble. There was a suspicion of handball as Jackson lost his footing, but play was allowed to continue and the alert Szmodics toe-poked the loose ball into the net.
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And Senior doubled the lead in first-half stoppage-time with a wonderful strike, to cap a superb first-half display from the U’s young winger.
Senior let fly from outside the box with a shot that was arrowed into the bottom corner of the net, leaving keeper Joe Day clutching at thin air.
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Day was again left flapping as Nouble crashing home a wonderful third goal, in the 63rd minute.
Nouble made room for himself, on the right edge of the box, and then out-of-the-blue let fly with a shot from a narrow angle that flew like a bullet into the far top corner of the net.
There was no way back for Newport.
Ironically, Newport had settled the quicker and striker Jamille Matt fired an angled drive into the side-netting inside the first couple of minutes.
The U’s threatened first on the quarter-hour mark as Tom Eastman, recalled to the starting line-up in place of Luke Prosser at the back, headed narrowly wide at the far post from Senior’s deep free-kick.
Five minutes later, though, and Szmodics broke the deadlock from close-in, despite a suspicion of handball by Jackson in the build-up.
Newport players were certainly not happy that the goal was allowed to stand, and left-back Dan Butler was booked for showing too much dissent.
The U’s came close to doubling their lead in the 23rd minute. Goalscorer Szmodics broke quickly and released Senior with a defence-splitting through ball.
Senior burst clear of the back-line and chose to shoot early, his effort deflecting off the onrushing Joe Day and dropping wide of the far post.
From the ensuing corner, Luke Norris, another U’s player enjoying a recall, failed to get enough weight on his header, which drifted wide.
Norris had a better sight of goal, just before the half-hour mark, but dragged his shot across goal and wide of target.
The excellent Senior, causing so many problems for Newport defenders, skipped his way into the box again on 42 minutes and pulled the ball back for Frank Nouble, whose snap shot was charged down from six yards out.
But Senior provided the finish himself, in the first minute of stoppage time, thumping home an unstoppable shot from just outside the penalty area.
Senior almost bagged a second goal inside the first two minutes of the second half. His 18-yard shot was too hot to handle for keeper Day, who managed to only parry the ball, and the follow-up by Kane Vincent-Young was also blocked.
U’s keeper Rene Gilmartin was finally called into action as late as the 50th minute, when clawing away a header by Joss Labadie following Newport’s first corner of the afternoon.
Action quickly switched to the other end and Senior was one again denied by a last ditch save from Day, who blocked with his legs.
But the U’s did add a third goal, in the 63rd minute, thanks to a wonderful strike from Nouble, who chalked up his eighth goal of the season with a stunning shot.
Six minutes later and another cracking long-range shot by Senior only just flew the wrong side of the far upright.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Gilmartin, Jackson, Eastman, Kent, Vicnent-Young, Stevenson, Mandron, Szmodics (sub Chilvers, 89), Nouble (sub Dickenson, 68), Senior (sub Eisa, 82), Norris. Unused subs: Barnes, Prosser, Roberts, Wright.
NEWPORT COUNTY: Day, Poole, O’Brien, Demetriou, Willmott, Labadie (sub Bakinson, 78), Bennett, Butler, Azeez (sub McKirdy, 53), Amond, Matt (sub Randall, 71). Unused subs: Townsend, Pipe, Marsh-Brown, Sheehan.
Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey)
Attendance: 3,213 (141 away fans)