Northampton Town 0 Colchester United 4: U’s celebrate big away win
- Credit: Richard Blaxall
Northampton Town 0 Colchester United 4
Colchester United cruised to an impressive victory on the road, away at East Anglian rivals Northampton Town this afternoon.
Frank Nouble gave the U’s a 1-0 lead at half-time, before two goals in a four-minute spell at the start of the second period, from new boy Abo Eisa and Kane Vincent-Young, effectively clinched the three points.
Sammie Szmodics added a fourth, midway through the second half, to complete the Cobblers’ misery.
It was certainly the ideal response to the recent back-to-back defeats at the hands of Mansfield and Crewe.
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Nouble bagged the opener in the 25th minute, turning to lash home at the far post after Harry Pell had headed on Ben Stevenson’s corner.
Winger Eisa, recruited on loan from Shrewsbury Town this week, was unleashed as a substitute for the start of the second half and he was soon on target, firing home after some terrific build-up play by Szmodics.
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Eisa’s goal arrived on 50 minutes, and just three minutes later he teed up Vincent-Young to gleefully tuck home the U’s third from 15 yards out.
Instead of sitting back, the visitors were on the attack again to add a fourth in the 67th minute, substitute Brennan Dickinson sweeping over a cross for Szmodics to divert home, right in front of the noses of the 400-plus Colchester fans.
Harry Pell had a penalty saved by David Cornell in the 84th minute, but that was of scant consolation for the hosts.
All-in-all, then, this was a great afternoon for the U’s, and their travelling supporters.
New permanent signing Stevenson was handed an immediate start, while the other two players who arrived before the transfer window shut, Eisa and Callum Roberts, were both named on the substitutes’ bench.
The Cobblers included a couple of former U’s players in their starting line-up, in John-Joe O’Toole and new loan signing Marvin Sordell.
And hard-man O’Toole soon made his presence felt, by fouling rival midfielder Pell inside four minutes.
Sordell also got in on the act early on, this time more positively when he scooped a shot over the bar from close in on 10 minutes.
The Cobblers had certainly started the brighter, although U’s leading scorer Szmodics did eye up the target with a 20-yarder that curled only a foot over the bar in the 13th minute.
It was slightly against the run of play that the U’s took the lead, Nouble turning to slam home at the far post after Pell had headed on a corner by Stevenson.
It was Nouble’s fifth goal of the season, in 34 senior appearances.
The goal seemed to take the wind out of the Cobblers’ sails, at least for a few minutes, and both Pell and Courtney Senior had goal-bound shots blocked, either side of the half-our mark.
On 37 minutes, following another U’s corner, Frankie Kent curled a shot just over the bar and onto the top of the net.
Four minutes later and Northampton came close to an equaliser, only for Rene Gilmartin to beat away an angled drive by Ash Taylor. That was a terrific save by the U’s keeper.
And Gilmartin came to the U’s rescue again, just 15 seconds into the second half, when he blocked a shot by Sordell after the Cobblers striker had burst clear of the defence.
The U’s had made a change at half-time, with Eisa coming on for Mandron – the Frenchman was on a yellow card.
And Eisa took just five minutes to mark his debut with a goal.
Szmodics turned this way and that, bemusing the defenders in front of him before teeing up Eisa, who slotted home with a clinical shot.
And Eisa then turned provider as the U’s celebrated a third goal just three minutes later on 53 minutes. He caused mayhem in the Cobblers box before finding Vincent-Young, who drilled home a shot from 15 yards out in some style.
It was 4-0 in the 67th minute, Szmodics directing home his shot from Dickenson’s precise low delivery from the left flank.
At the other end, Gilmartin pulled off another excellent save, denying Junior Morais with a close-range block in the 76th minute.
New boy Roberts earned the U’s a late penalty, when he was tripped in front of goal, only for Cornell to save Pell’s poor spot kick.
NORTHAMPTON: Cornell, Pierre, Taylor, Goode, Facey, McWilliams, O’Toole (sub D Powell, 56), Elsnik, Bridge, Sordell (sub A Williams, 65), Morais. Unused subs: Coddington, Buchanan, J Powell, Bowditch, J Williams.
COLCHESTER: Gilmartin, Jackson, Prosser, Kent, Vincent-Young, Stevenson, Pell, Senior (sub Dickenson, 66), Szmodics (sub Roberts, 81), Nouble, Mandron (sub Eisa, 46). Unused subs: Barnes, Lapslie, Comley, Eastman.
Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland)
Attendance: 4,796 (405 away fans)