Colchester United dazzle in storming second-half display
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Colchester United 4 Doncaster Rovers 1
Colchester United served up a cracking second-half display to record only their second win in their last 24 league games, at the expense of relegation rivals Doncaster Rovers this afternoon.
The U’s looked to be heading for yet another defeat, when Rovers debutant Gary McSheffrey netted an opening goal in the 22nd minute.
But Kevin Keen’s men tore into their Yorkshire visitors during a one-sided second half, and were rewarded with four unanswered goals from Chris Porter, Elliott Lee, a wonder strike by Alex Gilbey and a late effort by substitute Richard Brindley.
Rovers broke the deadlock, out of the blue, with a real sucker punch in the 22nd minute, after the U’s had shaded the first quarter of the game.
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The U’s back-line, and especially right-back Joe Edwards, was completely caught out of James Coppinger’s long, diagonal pass, and suddenly McSheffrey was clean through on goal with no home defender quick enough to react.
The experienced McSheffrey, who had signed on loan from Scunthorpe earlier in the week, kept his cool to slot past the advancing Elliott Parish.
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U’s defenders were convinced that McSheffrey was in an offside position, but the 33-year-old made no mistake.
The match remained very flat for the rest of the first half, but the U’s were a team transformed after the interval.
They certainly deserved their equaliser, set up by Gavin Massey and netted by Porter.
Right-winger Massey sneaked behind left-back Cedric Evina and squared into the box, where Porter’s first-time shot rolled into the far corner of the net.
The U’s had their tails up, and they then scored two fantastic goals in a blissful two minutes to seal victory.
Elliot Lee obliged with a quality strike in the 71st minute, his long-range shot flying into the far corner of the net. He celebrated in style, in front of the home dug-out.
And better was soon to come, with Gilbey netting a strong candidate for goal-of-the-season.
The U’s midfielder let fly from fully 30 yards out with a sensational shot that soared into the top corner of the net, past dazed keeper Remi Matthews.
It was a goal worthy of winning any game.
Rovers were a well-beaten team, and they leaked a late fourth when a rampaging Moncur cut their defence to ribbons before teeing up substitute Brindley to steer home from eight yards out.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Parish, Edwards, Chambers (sub Kent, 17), Eastman, Shorey, Massey, Garvan, Gilbey, Moncur, Lee (sub Brindley, 79), Porter (sub Bonne, 83). Unused subs: Barnes, Wright, Lapslie, Ambrose.
DONCASTER: Matthews, Alcock, Taylor-Sinclair, Butler, Evina (sub MacKenzie, 65), Coppinger (sub Calder, 73), Rowe, Middleton, Stewart (sub Williams, 67), McSheffrey, Tyson. Unused subs: Stuckmann, Chaplow, Keegan, Mandeville.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leics)
Attendance: 3,771 (379 away fans)