Nouble breaks deadlock as U’s cruise to victory at Braintree

Sammie Szmodics, who came on in the second half and netted the U's third goal in a comfortable win a

Sammie Szmodics, who came on in the second half and netted the U's third goal in a comfortable win at Braintree. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Braintree Town 0 Colchester United 5

Colchester United eased to another comfortable away win, in their second pre-season friendly of the summer, at neighbours Braintree Town tonight.

Fresh from a 4-1 victory at Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday, John McGreal’s men scored freely again with Frank Nouble, Mikael Mandron (2), Sammie Szmodics and Junior Ogedi-Uzowke all on target.

The U’s dominated for much of the first half and should really have been more than just 1-0 up at the break.

The opening goal arrived in the 10th minute, following good work by Ryan Gondoh. The former Maldon & Tiptree attacker sneaked behind Iron’s back-line and squared for Nouble, who controlled before finding the back of the net.

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Two minutes later and Ryan Jackson had a shot deflected over, from Brennan Dickenson’s fine cross, and Gondoh scooped a free-kick over the top, midway through the first period.

Braintree rarely threatened keeper Dillon Barnes, who watched as Hill’s shot on 33 minutes ballooned high and wide of target.

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At the other end, Nathan McDonald was the busier of the two keepers, and he did well to save Nouble’s header, from Gondoh’s pinpoint cross in the 40th minute,

A much-changed U’s side, at the start of the second half, soon added to the lead to pull away from their National League hosts.

One of the many substitutes, Mandron, doubled the advantage in the 51st minute with a slick finish from Dickenson’s delivery.

And it was 3-0 in the 55th minute, thanks to Szmodics’ effort past McDonald, following Tom Eastman’s good ball forward.

Ogedi-Uzowke, one of several players introduced just after the hour mark, netted the U’s fourth goal in the 71st minute from close range, the ball going in off the bar. Szmodics was the instigator.

Mandron celebrated his second and the U’s fifth goal in the 87th minute, burying the chance at the second attempt after his initial effort rebounded off the bar. The chance was set up by Aaron Barnes.

U’s starting XI: Barnes, Jackson, Prosser, Kent, Kensdale, Comley, Wright, Senior, Dickenson, Gondoh, Nouble.

U’s subs in second half: Eastman, Lapslie, Szmodics & Mandron (all 46 mins), Collins (56), Ross, James, Clampin, Barnes & Ogedi-Uzokwe (all 61).

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