Henderson’s brace see U’s finish 10th
IAN Henderson’s quickfire first half brace was enough for Colchester United to beat relegated Bristol Rovers on the final day of the season and seal a respectable 10th place finish in League One.
The advanced right-winger had already seen a clipped effort over the keeper cleared off the line in the 24th minute before his brace of strikes.
His first came from close-range in the 28th minute when Kayode Odejayi perfectly cushioned a header into his path from Lloyd James’ cross.
Two minutes later he seized upon a loose ball in the box and fired home after Ashley Vincent’s long-range shot had hit a defender.
It makes the midfielder Colchester’s leading League One goalscorer this season with 10 and takes his end-of-season tally to five goals from six games.
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John-Joe O’Toole rounded the keeper in the 67th minute only to see his shot blocked on the line, while the midfielder also headed narrowly over.
In truth the U’s took their foot of the gas somewhat in the second half though and Bristol Rovers pulled one back in the 72nd minute when substitute Elliot Richards headed in a Gavin Williams free-kick from an unmarked position.
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And with the game reaching an anti-climatic finish, U’s boss John Ward took the opportunity to give teenage midfielder Jordan Sanderson his professional debut as an 81st minute substitute.
– Full match report in Monday’s EADT. Reaction to follow.
COLCHESTER UTD (4-3-3): Williams; Wilson, Heath, Beevers, White; Bond (Izzet 89), O’Toole (Sanderson 81), James; Henderson, Odejayi, Vincent.
Unused Subs: Cousins, Clarke, Coker, Bender, Wordsworth.
BRISTOL ROVERS (4-5-1): Logan; Senda, Swallow, Clough, Anthony; Lines, Pell (Clark 89), Kalala, Brown (Richards 62), Williams; Hoskins (Lambe 89).
Unused Subs: Green, Reece, Powell, Jefferies.
U’s Man-of-the-Match: Henderson
Referee: Mr D Webb.