Colchester United record first away win since opening day of season
Oldham Athletic 0 Colchester United 2
Colchester United celebrated only their third victory in the last 21 matches, at the expense of hosts Oldham Athletic this afternoon.
Latics left-back Ellis Plummer could only divert Craig Eastmond’s low cross into his own net to give the U’s a seventh minute lead.
And Jabo Ibehre then swept home his fifth goal of the season, from Dominic Vose’s cross, to put the U’s 2-0 up in the 31st minute.
Oldham never really looked like mounting a rally, enabling the U’s to bounce back from the previous Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat to Notts County, with what was their first away win since the opening day of the season at Gillingham.
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The U’s enjoyed the perfect start, thanks to a helping hand by Plummer on seven minutes.
It was a sweet move, kick-started by Ibehre’s determination to win the ball down the left flank.
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Marcus Bean passed forward from Ibehre’s lay-off and Eastmond delivered a teasing low cross into the six-yard box, where left-back Plummer could only turn into his net.
Oldham were rocked on their heels by this early setback, although Sam Walker did have to dive to his left to catch a goal-bound shot by Michael Petrasso in the 10th minute.
The hard-working Ibehre was in the action again on the quarter-hour mark. The U’s target man shrugged off two challenges, while left-back Plummer also stood off him, which annoyed home fans, before the final shot rolled harmlessly wide of the far post.
The U’s continued to press and Eastmond dragged a low shot wide, from a promising position, in the 16th minute.
Oldham, by contrast, had struggled to get going. Right-back Matteo Lanzoni did get forward on the counter-attack, but he was off balance when volleying wide of the near upright on the half-hour mark.
And there was soon another big setback for the Latics, as Ibehre doubled the U’s lead in simple fashion on 31 minutes.
Vose was the creator, getting the better of a hesitant Plummer on the right edge of the penalty area before rolling the ball across the face of goal for Ibehre to divert into an unguarded net, from point blank range.
The Latics rarely looked like reducing the deficit before the break, and David Mellor’s rather wayward free-kick, which flew several yards over the bar on 43 minutes, summed up their first half.
Defender Lanzoni had been Oldham’s most dangerous player in that first period, and he was just a whisker away from heading home a 50th minute free-kick.
At the other end, Ibehre robbed James Tarkowski and homed in on goal. His cross was deflected into the path of Vose, but the ex-West Ham man could not get the ball under control and the chance was gone.
The U’s had far more defending to in the second half, although Tom Eastman came close to adding a third goal with a header that flashed wide from Luke Garbutt’s 68th minute corner.
Three minutes later and Walker made his best save of the afternoon, arching back to divert substitute Connor Brown’s long range shot over his bar.
One of the U’s substitutes, Ryan Dickson, also had his sights on goal in the 74th minute as Vose instigated a quick break. But he pulled his shot across the face of goal, with just keeper Mark Oxley to beat.
However, that miss didn’t really matter as the U’s eased to victory, although John Pritchard did rattle the bar in injury-time for the hosts.
OLDHAM: Oxley, Lanzoni, Grounds, Tarkowski, Plummer (sub Brown, 46), Petrasso, Winchester (sub Milar, 46), Smith, Mellor, Rooney (sub Pritchard, 79), Philliskirk. Unused subs: Rachubka, Rodgers, Joyce, Gossett.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, Garbutt, David Wright, Eastmond (sub Gilbey, 81), Vose, Bean, Turgott (sub Dickson, 69), Ibehre (sub Morrison, 69). Unused subs: Cousins, Watt, Bond, Tozer.
Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland)