Macauley Bonne nets four goals as Colchester United win at Wealdstone
Wealdstone 2 Colchester United 6
Macauley Bonne was the four-goal hero as Colchester United progressed into the second round of the FA Cup, at plucky Wealdstone this afternoon.
The U’s were trailing 2-1, towards the end of the first half, but they rallied well to see off their National League South hosts at a packed Grosvenor Vale.
Bonne’s 26th minute opener was cancelled out by Jefferson Louis’ 31st minute penalty, and Bradley Hudson-Odoi’s fortuitous close-range goal on 38 minutes.
However, Bonne struck either side of half-time to put the U’s 3-2 up, and he then glanced home George Moncur’s shot from the edge of the box in the 67th minute.
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Moncur then netted the U’s fifth himself, in the 81st minute with a shot that was squeezed home from just inside the penalty area.
There was no way back for Wealdstone, and Marvin Sordell completed the scoring with a superb strike in the 90th minute.
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Keeper Elliot Parish, recalled to the side for the first time in more than two months, due to Jamie Jones’ hamstring injury, made a vital save after just two minutes by arching back to finger-tip a long-range shot by Scott Davies over his bar.
Otherwise, though, it was the League One side in the box seat early on.
Bonne volleyed over from close in after three minutes, and struck the inside of the far post with a rasping shot in the 23rd minute, while Callum Harriott and Moncur were both guilty of missing good opportunities.
But the U’s pressure finally counted when Bonne broke the deadlock in the 26th minute with a smart finish.
Moncur’s initial shot was blocked by keeper Jonathan North but the U’s persevered and Bonne turned to lash home the rebound from 15 yards out.
It looked at that point as though the U’s would go on to add to their lead, but they were rocked back on their heels by two goals from the hosts inside a seven-minute spell.
Firstly, Joe Edwards, playing his first game in the right-back role for the U’s, since his summer move from Yeovil, brought down winger Shaun Lucien in the box, and Jefferson Louis stepped up to calmly slot home the ensuing penalty.
That equaliser arrived in the 31st minute, and Wealdstone got their noses in front on 38 minutes, although there was a touch of good fortune about that goal.
Lucien’s corner dropped to the far post, and Matt Briggs’ hasty clearance hit Bradley Hudson-Odoi at point blank range and ricocheted into the net.
However, the U’s netted a crucial equaliser before half-time, Bonne rising high to head home Briggs’ teasing cross.
That brought to an end a cracking first period.
Wealdstone had one chance at the start of the second half, when former Lowestoft Town marksman Louis dragged a low shot across goal and wide of the far post.
But they were soon trailing, as Bonne completed his hat-trick on 47 minutes to make it 3-2 to the visitors.
Marvin Sordell capped a strong run down the left by crossing low for an unmarked Bonne to gleefully sweep into an unguarded net from six yards out.
The U’s were now in control, and they bossed possession for the next 20 minutes before Moncur rifled home the U’s fourth in the 67th minute, although the ball was glanced in by Bonne, who therefore claimed the fourth goal for his own.
Wealdstone did threaten to pull a goal back in the 75th minute, only for Parish to dive to his left to smother substitute Jonny Wright’s goal-bound header.
And just 60 seconds later, Parish again came to his side’s rescue by diverting Louis’ long-range shot over his bar.
Former U’s striker Scott McGleish, Wealdstone’s player-coach, appeared as an 80th minute substitute, at the ripe old age of 41.
But a minute later and Moncur swatted home the U’s fifth goal, with Sordell netting a sixth late on, to wrap up victory.
WEALDSTONE: North, McLeod-Urquhart, Duffy, Parker, Hamblin, Corcoran, Lucien (sub Wright, 56), Lowe (sub Ball, 66), Louis, Davies, Hudson-Odoi. Unused subs: Binns, Hutchinson, McGleish, Dutton.
COLCHESTER: Parish, Edwards, Kent, Eastman, Briggs, Gilbey, Lapslie, Moncur (sub Massey, 88), Bonne (sub Curtis, 90), Sordell, Harriott. Unused subs: Barnes, Olufemi, Sembie-Ferris, Wright, James.
Referee: B Malone