Ipswich Town cruise to Colchester United victory

Frank Nouble holds off Tom Eastman

Frank Nouble holds off Tom Eastman - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town coasted to a comfortable victory at East Anglian rivals Colchester United on a balmy evening for pre-season football on Tuesday evening.

First-half goals from Luke Chambers and the impressive David McGoldrick gave Town a deserved half-time lead, before Daryl Murphy slotted home a 76th minute penalty to round off a very satisfactory night’s work for Mick McCarthy’s men.

The one blemish for the visitors was a first-half injury to midfielder Cole Skuse, who was replaced inside the first 20 minutes.

But Skuse later revealed that it was only a precaution, following a summer knee operation.

Former U’s stalwart Anthony Wordsworth enjoyed his return to the Community Stadium. He provided the corner for Chambers to head home the opener, and obliged with an accurate pass which saw Murphy brought down by Sam Walker for the second-half penalty.

There was also 45 minutes of action for Town’s newest recruit, Scottish defender Christophe Berra, and ex-U’s keeper Dean Gerken.

It was an entertaining opening and McGoldrick, one of a glut of summer signings for Town, tested home keeper Sam Walker twice inside the first seven minutes.

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In fact, there was only 20 seconds on the clock when the striker’s lofted shot was tipped onto the bar by the back-pedalling Walker.

The former Nottingham Forest forward went close again with a fierce angled drive which Walker, re-signed on loan from Chelsea last week, did well to push around his post.

But it was not all one-way traffic in the early stages, and Sanchez Watt had a sight of goal on five minutes. The ex-Arsenal winger raced onto Freddie Sears’ lay-off, but could not squeeze his shot past keeper Scott Loach.

The U’s home faithful were quick to jeer former player Wordsworth, every-time he had an effort on goal.

The midfielder headed wide from Aaron Cresswell’s early free-kick, and then curled a free-kick off target in the 18th minute.

There was a blow for Town, when midfielder Skuse limped off injured, but in terms of the score-line the visitors were soon looking good.

Chambers broke the deadlock with a firm header from Wordsworth’s 27th minute corner – the Town centre-half was unmarked, and obliged with a lethal finish.

Five minutes later and Town doubled their lead, this time thanks to McGoldrick, who drilled home through a crowded penalty area after the U’s had failed to clear their lines.

McCarthy’s men dominated possession for the remainder of the first half, and the U’s only real effort of note before the break came from livewire Sears, who curled a shot wide of the far post.

Both sides made changes galore at half-time, and throughout the second half, which was far more even.

Murphy dispatched a 76th minute penalty to complete the scoring, after he had been upended by keeper Walker following Wordsworth’s pass.

Andy Bond warmed Gerken’s hands with a ferocious shot shortly afterwards, but otherwise the U’s rarely looked like scoring.