Goal at last for Kem
By Carl MarstonKEM Izzet, after nearly six months of heartache, finally chalked up his first goal of the season to rescue a point for Colchester United on Saturday.
By Carl Marston
KEM Izzet, after nearly six months of heartache, finally chalked up his first goal of the season to rescue a point for Colchester United on Saturday.
Midfielder Izzet had bagged eight goals last term, finishing just one goal behind joint top scorers Scott McGleish and Joe Keith, but he had been unable to rediscover his scoring knack this campaign, until the dying moments against Tranmere.
Izzet glanced home Thomas Pinault's cross-cum-shot to cancel out Eugene Dadi's first half opener. Now the 23-year-old hopes that this first strike will prompt a flow of goals over the last three months of the season.
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"Scoring goals has always been important to me. There's no better feeling in the world," explained Izzet.
"I'm very disappointed that I have not scored as many goals as I would have liked this season. Hopefully, this will kick-start a few goals for me.
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"Thomas (Pinault) admitted that his effort was more of a shot than a cross.
The keeper had it covered, but it fell on my head. I just got the all-important touch," added Izzet.
This 89th-minute equaliser made up for the disappointment of having a goal disallowed for offside on the hour mark. Izzet bundled home the loose ball after Pinault's long-range shot had been spilled by keeper John Achterberg, only for the assistant referee to raise his flag for offside.
Izzet admitted: "I was really disappointed to miss out, because I thought that I'd finally broken my duck for the season.
"I don't know whether I was offside or not, but I thought that I was onside.
"Although I've scored a late equaliser, it's still two points lost. We should have got all three.
"I couldn't believe that we were trailing at half-time. I thought that we should have been leading instead. Tranmere just sat behind the ball, after scoring their goal and then having a player sent off.
"But I felt that we were well on top, even before they were reduced to 10 men.
"I understand that the gaffer has called me a 'warrior,' which is nice praise, but I'd also like to think that I am a ball player as well.
"Our league form has suffered, while we've been doing well in the cups, but it's not because we haven't been focusing on the league. It's just that we haven't been playing as well in the league as we have done in Cup matches.
"I think we proved today that we are just as focused on the league as the Cup," added Izzet.
U's manager Phil Parkinson was full of praise for Izzet, and the positive approach of his whole team.
"I'm very pleased for Kem (Izzet). In terms of attitude, he's worth his place in the team on that alone, even without his goals. He's a warrior," explained Parkinson.
"It was a game that we should have won, and I'm sure that if we had scored earlier in the second half, then we would have won the match.
"I thought we responded well to the sending off. Tranmere made it difficult for us to break them down, but I couldn't fault my team.
"I got a positive performance from them. Sometimes as a manager you can be frustrated not to win, but I can't be critical of my players today.
"We kept our self-belief. We knew that we could get back into the game," added Parkinson.