Eastmond sustains ankle injury at Heybridge

Colchester’s John-Joe O’Toole falls as Leyton Orient’s Shaun Batt follows during the match on Saturd

Colchesters John-Joe OToole falls as Leyton Orients Shaun Batt follows during the match on Saturday, 06 April where Colchester won 2-1 against Leyton Orient at Weston Home Stadium. - Credit: Archant

Colchester United’s senior pre-season campaign began in ominous fashion tonight, when new signing Craig Eastmond was stretchered off with an ankle injury.

Midfielder Eastmond, snapped up on a two-year contract from Arsenal earlier in the summer, was felled by a robust challenge from Heybridge Swifts’ Ryan Doyle during the first half at Scraley Road.

It was a challenge that angered U’s manager Joe Dunne, and resulted in playmaker Eastmond being stretchered off.

And it certainly took the edge of the U’s 2-1 victory.

Ironically, Dunne had only yesterday been mentioning his own pre-season injury nightmare, during a press conference, when he seriously damaged an ankle during a first friendly game of the season at non-league Cornard in the 1990s.

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Meanwhile, another of the U’s summer signings, Sanchez Watt, who had also signed on a two-year deal from Arsenal, did not feature tonight.

Dunne wants to ease winger Watt back into competitive action, following his serious hamstring injury and subsequent operation last season.

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Heybridge took the lead via Ben Newson in the 23rd minute. It was a lead they held until John-Joe O’Toole grabbed a smartly-taken equaliser just before the hour mark.

Drey Wright netted a 72nd minute winner as the two Wrights combined. David Wright was the creator and Drey Wright provided the finish.

U’s starting XI’s

First-half: Cousins, Kent, Eastman, Wilson, O’Donoghue, Izzet, Bean, Eastmond, Massey, Sears, Iberhe.

Second-half: Phillips, David Wright, Okuonghae, Gilbey, Duguid, Bond, O’Toole, Cook, Drey Wright, Olufemi, Morrison.

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