Freddie Sears scores a pearler to earn Colchester United a point at Scunthorpe
Scunthorpe United 1 Colchester United 1
Colchester United had to settle for a 1-1 away draw at Scunthorpe this afternoon despite bossing most of the possession and having the better chances to snatch the three points.
After Rory Fallon gave the hosts a 20th-minute lead, Freddie Sears got the U’s back on level terms with an excellent goal, before George Moncur and sub Rhys Healey wasted golden chances late in a second half largely controlled by the visitors to take all three points back to Colchester.
Scunthorpe, playing for the first time under new management in Mark Robins, settled the quicker as Jennison Myrie-Williams and top goalscoring striker Paddy Madden threatened.
The U’s remained intact though, and after a beautifully flowing move from defence to attack in the 16th minute, the 230-strong travelling ColU army should have been celebrating a goal.
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Goalkeeper Sam Walker plucked Gary McSheffrey’s clipped corner out of the air before bowling out a inch-perfect long throw which saw Gavin Massey tear away with an abundance of pace down the right wing leaving the backtracking Iron defenders for dead.
The in-form winger’s pinpoint cross was even better, but talisman Sears saw his delicate volley from six yards rebound off the underside of the crossbar to safety.
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Although on one side you could say Sears was unlucky with his finish, ultimately, he should have scored, it was a gilt-edged chance.
Sure enough, Scunthorpe punished the U’s in virtually the next attack of the game as after a foul on Myrie-Williams on the edge of the box, a pinpoint delivery from the technically-gifted McSheffrey saw target man, and former Ipswich Town loanee, Fallon, overpower his marker to head home from close-range in the 20th minute.
Madden then wasted the most golden of opportunities to double his side’s advantage just five minutes later as, after an inadvertant touch from U’s skipper Sean Clohessy following Fallon’s knock-down, the striker was presented with a clear sight of goal with no sign of a Colchester defender in sight - but to everyone’s bemusement inside Glanford Park, and probably his own for that matter, the striker somehow lifted the ball over the crossbar.
Colchester’s response was immediate and from nothing, dangerman Sears got them back on level terms with a beautiful equaliser from the edge of the box in the 33rd minute.
Following some patient build-up in midfield, and a simple forward pass from David Fox, Sears received the ball, controlled it, spun on a sixpence, and nestled a shot into the corner of the net before Bobby Olejnik and the two in-awe Scunthorpe centre-halves had a chance to move.
The U’s were now well on top with some crisp and precise passing, passages of play that continued to filter in quick succession in the second half.
Massey, last week’s match-winner, enjoyed a terrific first half, but frustrating second, and from a similar position for his second goal last week, he screwed an effort wastefully wide as time wore on.
The final 15 minutes of the game was certainly hectic as, after Madden had penalty appeals waved away following a coming-together with the outstanding Frankie Kent, the U’s really took the game to the hosts, pushing for a winner, asking all the questions.
Questions that quite honestly should’ve been answered, and pushes that should have got the winner they craved.
Another flowing U’s move in the 80th minute involving Kent, Elliott Hewitt, and Sears presented Massey with a chance, but off-balance, the winger fluffed his lines from barely three yards, but he did manage to save the opportunity by passing back to a perfectly placed and incoming Moncur, but from six yards, and with desperate Scunthorpe bodies scattered everywhere, the midfielder somehow blazed over. Everyone was waiting for the net to ripple.
Boss Tony Humes must have been tearing his hair out at the missed opportunity, and more was to follow as in the dying seconds, lively substitute Healey saw a one-on-one tipped onto the post by a full-stretch Olejnik with virtually the last passage of play.
The result sees Colchester move up one place in the Sky Bet League One where their performance certainly deserved more.