Colchester United stunned by amazing comeback from Shrews

Owen Garvan, in action against Bury last weekend

Owen Garvan, in action against Bury last weekend - Credit: Su Anderson

Shrewsbury Town 4 Colchester United 2

Colchester United surrendered a two-goal half-time lead as they crashed to defeat at Shrewsbury Town this afternoon.

Tony Humes’ men were coasting at the interval, before a double substitution at the start of the second period changed the whole complexion of the game.

One of these substitutes, Tyrone Barnett, scored twice in the 46th and 58th minute to bring the scores level.

And Sullay Kaikai, the other substitute, then helped himself to two goals in the 73rd and 81st minutes to seal the U’s fate.

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It was a nightmarish second-half for the U’s, who were completely blitzed.

Earlier, the U’s always looked the more likely scorers, even before home centre-half Mark Ellis unwittingly broke the deadlock with an own goal in the 36th minute.

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Gavin Massey raced onto George Moncur’s excellent pass and delivered a dangerous cross which Ellis could only divert into his own net, at full stretch.

And just three minutes later, the U’s doubled their lead with another unlikely scorer – U’s centre-half Eastman.

Fellow centre-half Frankie Kent helped on a corner and Eastman, with his back to goal, back-heeled into an unguarded bet from eight yards out.

It was certainly a collector’s item!

It was also his first goal of the season, and the seventh goal of his career.

Shrewsbury were back in the game, within 30 seconds of the second half, thanks to a towering header from substitute Barnett, who had only been on the pitch for those 30 seconds.

Former Ipswich Town loanee Barnett headed home Larnell Cole’s cross from the left flank.

And Barnett equalised with his second goal of the game, just before the hour mark, bundling home from close-in past an exposed Jamie Jones. There was a suspicion of offside about that one.

The U’s were then left stunned as Kaikai, who had also been introduced as a substitute at half-time, rounded keeper Jones to roll the ball into an empty net and so put the Shrews 3-2 up in the 73rd minute.

And Kaikai then rammed home the goal of the game, with nine minutes remaining, to complete a stunning comeback.

The U’s made one change to the side the lost 1-0 at home to Bury last weekend. The suspended Matt Briggs was replaced by George Elokobi at left-back.

They certainly dominated the early exchanges and Marvin Sordell missed a gilt-edged chance on seven minutes, when failing to divert home Gavin Massey’s teasing low cross from point blank range.

Otherwise, it was a fairly quiet opening with hosts Shrewsbury content to soak up some pressure, lining up with a five-man defence.

Massey did find the back of the net from close in on 22 minutes, following Sordell’s fine cross, but the assistant referee had already his flag for offside against the U’s winger.

Six minutes later and the U’s were again denied by an offside flag, this time as Sordell swept home from six yards out. The striker had strayed a yard beyond the Shrews back-line.

In the 34th minute, the home side threatened from a big punt upfield from their keeper, Jayson Leutwiler, which lone striker James Collins managed to latch onto.

But his final shot lacked power, with Jamie Jones easily smothering down at his near post.

And that prompted a spell of pressure at the other end, which yielded two quickfire goals for the dominant U’s.

Ellis diverted home Massey’s cross for an own goal in the 36th minute, before Eastman doubled the lead with a deft back-heel just three minutes later.

Shrews boss Mellon made a double substitution at the start of the second-half, and the changes had an immediate effect.

One of these two substitutes, Barnett, headed home Cole’s cross, to halve the deficit within 30 seconds of the restart.

The Shrews now had more of an attacking threat and midfielder Ian Black screwed a shot wide from distance in the 57th minute.

And two minutes later, the home side were indeed level as Barnett bundled home his second goal of the afternoon, from close-in.

Pegged back to 2-2, the U’s went back on the offensive. Sordell’s deflected shot looped narrowly over the back and onto the top of the net, and Owen Garvan then tested Leutwiler with a low drive which the keeper dived low to save.

But only the woodwork denied Shrewsbury taking the lead in the 65th minute, as Black’s close-range header clipped the top of the bar.

Eight minutes later and Kaikai completed the comeback with a cool finish to put the Shrews 3-2 ahead.

A terrific save by Leutwiler denied the U’s an equaliser on 79 minutes. He pushed away Eastman’s header, and Massey could not squeeze home the loose ball.

And the visitors were made to pay for this miss as Kaikai then drilled home his second goal of the game, from a narrow angle, to make it 4-2 on 81 minutes.


SHREWSBURY: Leutwiler, Tootle, Smith, Ellis (sub Barnett, 46), Knight-Percival, Cole, Ogogo, Black (sub Lawrence, 80), Brown, Clark (sub Kaikai, 46), Collins. Unused subs: Rowley, Sadler, Lawrence, Whalley, McAlinden.

COLCHESTER: Jones, Olufemi, Kent, Eastman, Elokobi, Garvan, Edwards (sub Gilbey, 74) Moncur (sub Bonne, 74), Massey, Sordell, Harriott. Unused subs: Parish, Porter, Sembie-Ferris, Harney, Ambrose.

Referee: Lee Swabey (Devon)

Attendance: 4,947 (194 away fans)

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