Colchester United 3 Ipswich Town 3: Burns' late strike levels it for Town
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Wes Burns curled in a 20-yard free-kick three minutes from time as Ipswich Town and Colchester United shared the spoils in a thoroughly entertaining pre-season clash at the Jobserve Community Stadium.
Town old boys Alan Judge, Tommy Smith and Frank Nouble had all scored for the U's to put them 3-2 ahead before Burns' strike sent both sets of fans home happy.
Town had taken the lead through Joe Pigott in the sixth minute, before Smith equalised on 27 minutes, only for Macauley Bonne to put Town back in front a minute later. Nouble headed the U's level just before the break.
Judge made the most of a horror moment from Town keeper Tomas Holy to put the U's ahead before Burns levelled.
Only six of the Town side that started the Crystal Palace game on Saturday started, while the U's included three former Town players who left Portman Road this summer, Luke Chambers, Freddie Sears and Judge, with Cole Skuse on the bench.
It was a cool evening and one end of the Stadium was packed with 1,500 Town fans. They were in good voice from the start and were even more delighted as new signings Conor Chaplin and George Edmundson were introduced to the travelling Blue Army before kick-off.
Janoi Donacien was captain for the night as Town kicked off defending the end their fans were seated. Both teams took the knee before kick off.
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Armando Dobra enjoyed an early run, as Freddie Sears had the first shot that sailed over after a slick U's move. Dobra was again on the end of a move that saw him shoot over as Town won their first corner of the game. That was cleared, but on six minutes Town scored.
Dobra was again involved, picking the ball up and running at the U's defence. He fed it out to Bonne who crossed for Pigott to side foot home confidently.
Chambers got a great reception from the Town fans as the U's had a enjoyed a couple of corners in front of the Town fans, and it was the former Town skipper who cut out Donacien's low cross for a corner which was cleared at the other end.
Ryan Clampin's cross was fired over by fellow wing-back Cameron Coxe as the U's also started brightly. Holy delighted the Town fans with a nifty bit of footwork as he took the ball 30 yards out evading a U's challenge into the bargain!
On 25 minutes, Judge shot low and hard but Holy was down to it well. The U's almost equalised when Judge's pin-point ball into the box found Brendan Wiredu, whose effort went past Holy but was cleared by Luke Woolfenden three yards out.
However, the U's did equalise on 27 minutes, Judge's corner headed home by Smith six yards out. The game had gone up a notch now as Judge thundered into Dobra as Town won a free-kick 40 yards out.
It proved an expensive free-kick to give away as Scott Fraser's cross was deftly headed home by Bonne. The U's had been back on terms for just a minute.
Matt Penney denied Sears as he threatened to break through and Town were caught napping as Clampin again crossed after a quick free-kick from Judge found him in acres of space. But the cross was cleared.
Colchester equalised in the 41st minute and similar to the first goal, it was a cross, this time from a free-kick from Judge, that saw Nouble getting in ahead of Holy and the Town defence to flick home.
The first half had been thoroughly entertaining and Town ended it with a corner that Nouble cleared as the half-time whistle went.
Town were unchanged at the start of the second half and won an early corner which was cleared before Rekeem Harper's shot was deflected over for another which was smothered by the U's keeper.
Dobra jinked into the box and shot from the angle but it was saved, while at the other end Coxe's cross was tamely headed straight at Holy by an unmarked Nouble. Pigott's shot was straight at the U's keeper as the game continued end-to-end apace.
Fraser Alexander and Bailey Clements were the first Town substitutes to appear on 60 minutes as Penney and Cameron Humphreys departed, and a minute later Skuse was brought on for the U's. Colchester were enjoying good possession and Wiredu was inches away from collecting a long through ball.
James Norwood and Kayden Jackson replaced Pigott and Bonne before the U's took the lead, and in comical fashion.
Holy mis-controlled a back pass and then tried to make up for his mistake by heading it into the air,, all while well out of his area. But he lost possession and from fully 40 yards at an angle, Judge superbly curled the ball into an empty net.
Wes Burns and Kane Vincent-Young replaced Donacien and Fraser, and then Samson Tovide won the U's a corner after a good run into the box, while the same player almost set up Nouble for a tap-in as the U's finished strongly.
Matt Healey replaced Harper for Town and Woolfenden was replaced by Toto Nsiala.
But it was Burns who had the final say, curling in a 20yard free-kick after Dobra was fouled, to level it up for Town, with Dobra almost securing a win for Town as his diving header went just wide.
Town end their pre-season at home to Millwall on Saturday.
Colchester United: Gerken (Trialist F); Eastman, Chambers, Smith, Clampin (Skuse, 61); Wiredu, Chilvers (Trialist E 62), Coxe (Trialist C, 86), Judge, Sears (Tovide, 73), Nouble
Subs: Hasanally, Thomas, Terry, Cornish, Beadle
Ipswich Town: Holy, Donacien (Vincent-Young 71), Woolfenden (Nsiala, 81), Ndaba, Penney (Clements 60); Harper (Healy, 81), Humphreys (Alexander 60); Dobra, Bonne, Fraser (Burns, 71); Pigott