GALLERY & REPORT: Sears and Massey on target as Colchester United seal precious victory

Freddie Sears scores Colchester's first goal.
Colchester United won their match against Coventry Ci

Freddie Sears scores Colchester's first goal. Colchester United won their match against Coventry City 2-1 on Saturday, 8 March.

Colchester United 2 Coventry City 1

Early goals from Freddie Sears and Gavin Massey built the platform for Colchester United’s first victory in seven matches, at the expense of visiting Coventry City this afternoon.

Sears gave the U’s the perfect start, cutting in from the right to advance into the box before sliding a low shot between the legs of keeper Joe Murphy.

Massey doubled the lead in the 25th minute. The winger ran onto David Wright’s through ball and threaded his shot beyond the advancing Murphy. It was a slick finish.

But Coventry struck on the stroke of half-time. Callum Wilson somehow managed to squeeze an angled shot into the far corner of the net, past Sam Walker, to chalk up his 17th goal of the season.

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The U’s had far more defending to do in the second period, but held on to claim three vital points in their quest to pull well away from the relegation zone.

U’s boss Dunne stuck with the same side that had held high-flying Rotherham to a goalless draw on Tuesday night.

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Jabo Ibehre missed out against the Millers, due to injury, and he again broke down in training yesterday, so did not make the squad.

City midfielder Conor Thomas registered an early shot on target, which Sam Walker easily gathered on two minutes, but otherwise it was one-way traffic with the hosts in control.

Even before Sears broke the deadlock, with his fourth minute opener, fellow attacker Massey had squandered an even better chance just 60 seconds earlier.

Massey did well to control Clinton Morrison’s lofted pass, and then twist past his marker, but he scuffed his shot into the ground and so did not trouble keeper Murphy.

Sears had a quickfire opportunity to add a second in the 10th minute. The ex-West Ham front-runner burst past a defender to move into the box, only to fire his shot straight at Murphy from a central position.

United continued to dictate and Brian Wilson’s 21st minute corner dropped kindly at the feet of Sanchez Watt. The U’s winger steadied himself before lashing in a low shot that was blocked by a defender.

Three minutes later and Ryan Dickson swung over a dangerous cross, from which Massey headed wide of target.

But Massey did not have long to wait for another chance, and this time he latched onto Wright’s through ball to tuck home the U’s second goal.

A super confident Massey turned creator on the half-hour mark, swinging over a teasing cross from which a back-pedalling Michael Petrasso sliced a clearance narrowly wide of his own goal.

Walker has finally called into action in the 33rd minute, getting down to his right to divert striker Chuba Akpom’s low drive around his near post.

At the other end, Magnus Okuonghae climbed high to meet Brian Wilson’s 41st minute free kick with a header that drifted wide of target.

Just when it looked as though the U’s would keep a clean-sheet through to half-time, up popped Callum Wilson with an exquisite finish to make it 2-1 on 45 minutes.

Not surprisingly, the Sky Blues began the second period on the front foot, and Walker had to be alert to scurry off his line and smother at the feet of Akpom.

Just after the hour mark, Walker dived to his right to beat away a firecracker from Jordan Clarke.

The U’s did not create anything in the second half, until substitute Craig Eastmond blasted over the bar from Watt’s lay off in the 66th minute.

Rival substitute, Franck Moussa, went much closer to a goal in the 72nd minute. He muscled onto Thomas’ through ball and lifted his shot just a foot over the top.

There was big danger when goalscorer Wilson then charged between centre-halves Okuonghae and Tom Eastman to home in on goal. Fortunately, Walker saved low down.

On a rare breakaway, Marcus Bean rifled a shot over the bar, after which the U’s defended well to hold onto their advantage.

COLCHESTER: Walker, Wilson, Okunghae, Eastman, Dickson, Wright, Bean, Watt, Sears (sub Eastmond, 62), Massey (sub Vose, 83), Morrison (sub Bonne, 78). Unused subs: Cousins, Sanderson, Olufemi, Sesay.

COVENTRY: Murphy, Willis, Clarke, Webster (sub Delfouneso, 76), Seaborne, Thomas (sub McGeouch, 85), Fleck, Petrasso, Adams (sub Moussa, 56), Wilson, Akpom. Unused subs: Burge, Christie, Barton, Marshall.

Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland)

Attendance: 4,426

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