Odejayi brace completes comeback win
npower League One Colchester Utd 2 Notts County 1 TWO headed goals from substitute Kayode Odejayi saw Colchester United overturn a half-time deficit to beat Notts County.
The visitors carved the U’’s open in the early stages of this match and stormed into an eighth minute lead through Craig Westcarr.
The Magpies then proceeded to dominate the first half before a change in tactics by the home side finally stemmed the tide.
With Kayode Odejayi’s introduction making it a 4-4-2 line-up, Colchester improved significantly after the break.
And it was the Nigerian who won it, converting two fine headers – both from Tom Williams crosses – in the 75th and 83rd minute respectively.
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Ward had mixed injury news ahead of kick-off. Midfielder Andy Bond was passed fit following the knee injury sustained in the 0-0 draw at Oldham the previous weekend, however Magnus Okuonghae was replaced in heart of defence by Matt Heath after aggravating an ankle injury in training.
Notts County boss Craig Short also made just one enforced change to his side following their morale-boosting 2-0 win over Plymouth, injured midfielder Neal Bishop (knee) replaced by Karl Hawley.
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With the visitors playing with a diamond 4-4-2 system, Colchester’s three man midfield should have provided far more bodies in the middle of the field.
It therefore came as some surprise when the Magpies strode through the centre of the pitch unchallenged to open the scoring after eight minutes. Ben Davies was given far too much time and space to carry the ball forward from inside his own half, he played the ball to an unmarked Hawley who in turn slipped in Craig Westcarr to score.
Keeper Ben Williams should have done better with the unconvincing strike which he got a hand to, while Westcarr eventually limped off injured as a result of the collision suffered in the process of scoring.
Notts County then proceeded to dominate the first half and would have doubled their advantage had it not been for some poor final balls or weak shots,
There were ironic cheers from the home crowd when Colchester created their first real opportunity in the 33rd minute, David Perkins eventually hitting a tame effort straight at the keeper following some neat build-up play.
And after the frustrated Weston Homes Community Stadium faithful chanted ‘4-4-2’ following their side’s sluggish start they got their wish when striker Kayode Odejayi was introduced for Anthony Wordsworth after 38 minutes.
With Colchester going like-for-like formation wise it quickly became a much more even encounter.
Indeed, by the time the half-time whistle went – despite some boos by the home support – it was a far more positive picture with a sense that the tide was slowly turning Colchester’s way.
The U’s started the second half promisingly as Mooney fed Odejayi with an outside of the boot through ball, the Nigerian-born striker beating one man only for the keeper to make a brave stop at his feet.
Just before the hour mark defender Krystian Pearce made an important intervention in the box following a strong Brian Wilson run and cross, while moments later both Ashley Vincent and Mooney were agonisingly close to another good delivery from the marauding right-back.
As the game entered its final third, U’s boss Ward shuffled his pack once again replacing Bond with Ian Henderson in the 71st minute.
The well-deserved equaliser came three minutes later when Odejayi glanced Tom Williams’ floated free-kick from deep into the back of the net.
And it was the same two that combined as Colchester took the lead seven minutes from time as, following an intense period of pressure, Williams clipped the ball to the back post for Odejayi to emphatically head home.
That’s how it stayed, the U’s recording a much-needed second home win of the season to move back into the play-off places on goal difference.
– Full match report and reaction in Monday’s EADT.
Colchester Utd (4-3-3): B Williams; Wilson, T Williams, Reid, Heath; Izzet (cpt), Bond (I Henderson 71), Perkins; Vincent (Beevers 90), Wordsworth (Odejayi 38), Mooney.
Unused Subs: Cousins, White, James, L Henderson.
Booked: Hughes (73), Pearce (82).
Notts County (4-1-2-1-2): Burch; Thompson (cpt), Harley, Edwards, Pearce; Ravenhill; Spicer, Davies; Hawley; Westcarr (Smith 12, Jervis 78), Hughes.
Unused Subs: Nelson, Lee, Chilvers, Whiteley, Fox.
Booked: Perkins (18), Vincent (88).
U’s Man-of-the-Match: Kayode Odejayi
Referee: Mr Darren Sheldrake (Surrey)