Craig Eastmond on target as Colchester United return to winning ways
Yeovil Town 0 Colchester United 1
Craig Eastmond scored his first goal of the season as Colchester United celebrated their first win in seven league games, at fellow strugglers Yeovil Town this afternoon.
After a draw and then five straight defeats, the U’s had sunk to second-from-bottom of League One, but this result will give them some much-needed festive cheer going into the Christmas period.
The all-important goal arrived in the 72nd minute.
Gavin Massey started the move down the left flank, before George Moncur slid the ball into the path of Eastmond.
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The ex-Arsenal midfielder let fly from the edge of the box with a low shot that deceived keeper Jed Steer on its way into the net. The shot appeared to take a deflection.
Before then, Sam Walker had pulled off a hat-trick of excellent saves to keep the Glovers at bay, from Simon Gillett, Samuel Foley and Thomas Eaves.
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U’s boss Humes had made three changes to the side that crashed to a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Rochdale.
There were recalls for right-back Sean Clohessy, left-back Ben Gordon and winger Massey, with Sanchez Watt (injured), Rhys Healey and Cole Kpekawa dropping out.
The U’s settled well, and earned a corner on six minutes following good work by ex-Yeovil loanee Massey. David Fox’s delivery was only half-cleared, and it was Fox himself who rammed in a goal-bound shot that was blocked by a defender.
Otherwise, there were very few chances for either side during a very subdued first 20 minutes.
Freddie Sears did threaten on the break, surging into the penalty area before cracking in a low drive which was charged down, inside the six-yard box, while Massey’s 20th minute shot did at least force keeper Jed Steer into a save.
At the other end, Kaspars Gorkss marshalled the U’s defence impressively during the first half-hour.
The U’s back four was finally breached by Seth Twumasi’s excellent through ball over the top on 32 minutes. Suddenly, Gillett was homing in on goal, but his final shot was superbly palmed over the bar by keeper Sam Walker, at point blank range.
Eastmond set a neat U’s move in motion in the 41st minute, releasing Massey with a sly flick of the boot. Several passes later and the ball was at the feet of Eastmond again, although his 20-yard shot was sliced horribly wide.
Into the second half and Walker pulled off his second good save of the match on 47 minutes, arching back to claw Foley’s long-range shot over his bar.
Sears had the visitors’ first attempt of the second period, although his 20-yarder was easily smothered by Steer, just before the hour mark.
Walker saved the U’s again in the 69th minute, so completing a hat-trick of reaction saves. This time he beat away striker Eaves’ header, from Joe Edwards’ cross, at point blank range.
Just three minutes later and the U’s took the lead, with one of their rare attacks of the second half, thanks to Eastmond’s low drive from the edge of the box.
There was danger with just four minutes remaining – Eaves had a free header from inside the six-yard box, but the target man headed straight at Walker, who saved under his own bar.
YEOVIL: Steer, Molonoey (sub Hayter, 68), Arthurworrey, Edwards, N Smith, Foley, Gillett, Twumasi (sub Inniss, 85), Nugent, Hoskins (sub Leitch-Smith, 68), Eaves. Unused subs: Krysiak, Berrett, A Smith.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Clohessy, Eastman, Gorkss, Gordon, Fox, Eastmond, Moncur, Hewitt, Sears, Massey. Unused subs: Lewington, Healey, Bonne, Szmodics, Sembie-Ferris, Vincent-Young, Kpekawa.
Referee: Carl Boyeson (East Yorkshire)
Attendance: 6,837 (120 U’s fans)