Colchester United, helped by two own goals, power to big home win over Stevenage
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Colchester United 4 Stevenage 0
Colchester United powered to their joint biggest victory of the season, to boost their League Two play-off hopes at the expense of Stevenage this afternoon.
Goals from regular scorers Brennan Dickenson and Chris Porter put the U’s in the driving seat, before own goals by Josh McQuoid and Charlie Lee doubled the advantage to 4-0 inside the first 40 minutes.
That equalled the U’s 4-0 home win over Crewe from last November.
It was also the Essex club’s 10th win from their last 12 home matches, a fantastic recent record that has kept John McGreal’s men in the hunt for a top-seven spot, despite a poor away run.
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In fact, their last away success had been a 4-2 win at Stevenage, on New Year’s Eve.
For Dickenson’s 11th minute opener, Tarique Fosu delivered a cross from the right flank, into the six-yard box, where Drey Wright competed for it with two defenders.
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The ball broke for Dickenson, and he instinctively smashed a cracking first-time shot past keeper Chris Day and into the roof of the net, from 12 yards out.
It was Dickenson’s 11th goal of the campaign.
The U’s doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark, with Porter steering home his 15th goal of the season.
George Elokobi’s initial header clipped the far post and bounced back into play. Sean Murray struck the loose ball goalwards and Porter helped it over the line from inside a congested six-yard box to chalk up his 15th goal of the season.
And a comical own goal increased the U’s lead to 3-0 in the 34th minute. Tom Eastman flicked on a corner, and McQuoid somehow construed to nudge the ball over the line, surrounded by team-mates.
And there was another own goal just four minutes later, Fosu’s shot from a tight angle being deflected into his own net by midfielder Lee, the ball flying in off the far post.
That completed the scoring, inside 40 minutes.
The U’s made one change to the side that slithered to a 3-1 defeat at Notts County last weekend, Fosu replacing Rekeil Pyke in an attacking role.
Only the woodwork denied the hosts an opening goal after just three minutes.
Richard Brindley pounced onto Porter’s knock-down and lashed in a rising shot which struck both the underside of the bar and the inside of a post, before dropping to safety.
Dickenson then tried a speculative effort with the onside of his boot, which curled only a foot wide of the far upright on four minutes.
But it didn’t take long for Dickenson to hit the target, as his rasping shot gave keeper Day no chance to put the U’s 1-0 up in the 11th minute.
Stevenage rarely threatened during the first 25 minutes, although defender Jack King did head narrowly over the bar and onto the top of the net from Steve Schumacher’s 26th minute free-kick.
A minute later and Walker was forced into a superb double save, to deny danger-man Matt Godden. He parried the initial angled drive from the Stevenage front-man, and then smothered an equally ferocious follow-up shot.
The U’s then took complete control, with Porter sliding home from Murray’s shot to make it 2-0 in the 29th minute, and McQuoid then netting a bizarre own goal from close-in on 34 minutes.
It was so nearly 4-0 in the 37th minute as Drey Wright burst through on goal, only to drag his shot inches wide of the far post.
But the U’s were celebrating a fourth goal just 60 seconds later, via another own goal – Fosu’s angled shot struck Lee and ballooned into the net off the far upright.
Stevenage were stunned, and Fosu was close to making it 5-0 just before the break. His goal-bound shot was deflected a foot over the bar.
The visitors at least made a bright start to the second half and Walker did well to divert Jobi McAnuff’s shot over his bar in the 47th minute.
At the other end, Dickenson warmed Day’s hands with a thunderbolt, Stevenage left scrambling the ball to safety in an air of desperation, and Wright pulled a 20-yarder narrowly wide on 65 minutes.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Eastman, James, Elokobi, Brindley, Lapslie, Murray, Dickenson (sub Kinsella, 87), Wright (sub O’Sullivan, 78), Fosu, Porter (sub Pyke, 84). Unused subs: Brill, Briggs, Wynter, Bonne.
STEVENAGE: Day, Franks, King, Wilkinson, Ogilvie, Pett, Schumacher (sub Gorman, 80), Lee, McAnuff (sub McKee, 71), McQuoid (sub Hinds, 63), Godden. Unused subs: Preston, Tonge, Wells, Ntlhe.
Referee: Chris Sarginson (Staffs)
Attendance: 3,583 (584 away fans)