Massey at the double as U’s claim vital victory
Portsmouth 2 Colchester United 3
COLCHESTER United held on to secure a valuable win at fellow strugglers Portsmouth this afternoon.
A brace from Gavin Massey and a Freddie Sears penalty proved just enough to defeat Pompey, despite the hosts completely dominating the second period.
There were four goals in a crazy first 21 minutes, as the U’s soon grabbed a stranglehold of the game.
Massey broke the deadlock after just 105 seconds, steering home Sears’ excellent cross from six yards out.
Pompey took just three minutes to equalise, thanks to Jed Wallace’s unorthodox volleyed finish at the far post from a deep corner by Dan Butler.
But Colchester were soon back in the driving seat, thanks to Sears’ 15th minute penalty.
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Sam Sodje blotted his copybook, on his Pompey debut, by clearly tripping up Sears inside the box, following Massey’s slick pass.
And Sears picked himself up to calmly slot home the ensuing spot kick, sending keeper Simon Eastwood the wrong way.
Massey scored his second and the U’s third in the 21st minute, thanks to a shot from the edge of the box which took a deflection off Johnny Ertl, before looping over keeper Eastwood and into the roof of the net.
There were no goals before half-time, but Pompey then took charge of the second period and pulled a goal back through James Keene on 73 minutes.
But Joe Dunne’s men held on to record back-to-back wins.
The U’s had made two changes to the side which beat Walsall 2-0 last weekend, to end a run of nine straight defeats.
Winger George Porter came in for his first start, while Sears was rewarded with a start following his goal against the Saddlers. Both Marcus Bean and Drey Wright dropped to the bench.
Sears’ inclusion was soon justified, as he scored one and had a hand in the other two as the U’s raced into a 3-1 lead.
Massey was also close to celebrating a hat-trick just before the half-hour mark, but his cheeky back-heel, from George Porter’s pass, rolled wide of the far post.
The U’s had several other chances to add to their lead before half-time, not least when Jabo Ibehre poked a shot wide with just Eastwood to beat on 44 minutes.
The tide turned in the second half as Portsmouth dominated possession. Josh Thompson nearly scored an own goal to help his old club, when heading past his own keeper Sam Walker, although the skipper recovered in time to hack off the goal-line.
Keene, though, did reduce the arrears to 3-2 with 17 minutes remaining, firing home an angled drive from 10 yards out.
But the U’s held on to claim their first away victory since a 2-0 triumph at Leyton Orient on October 23.
PORTSMOUTH: Eastwood, Moutaouakil, Cooper (sub Reed, 68), Sodje, Rocha (sub Gyepes, 27), Butler, Wallace, Ertl, Harris, Keene, Connolly (sub Walker, 46). Unused subs: Sutherland, Webster, Smith.
COLCHESTER: S Walker, Wilson, Okuonghae, Thompson, White, Porter (sub Drey Wright, 82), David Wright, Clifford (sub Bond, 86), Massey, Sears (sub Bean, 72), Ibehre.. Unused subs: Morrison, Eastman, Compton, Cousins.
Referee: D Phillips (West Sussex)