Super U's hit sorry Norwich for seven
Norwich City 1 Colchester United 7NO, this is not a fantasy score. Colchester United really did hit sorry hosts Norwich City for SEVEN this afternoon!
Norwich City 1 Colchester United 7
NO, this is not a fantasy score. Colchester United really did hit sorry hosts Norwich City for SEVEN this afternoon!
It was one of the most remarkable starts to a season that any Colchester side has enjoyed, easily eclipsing the 6-3 opening day success at Chesterfield eight years ago.
Incredibly, Paul Lambert's men were 5-0 up after just 38 minutes, due to a brace of goals from both Kevin Lisbie and Clive Platt, and a quality free-kick from David Fox.
Hapless Norwich did net a consolation goal through substitute Cody McDonald in the 72nd minute, but U's substitute David Perkins matched him with a stunning sixth goal just three minutes later.
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And fellow substitute Scott Vernon poured yet more salt into those wounds with a seventh in the 90th minute.
The U's fans were in dream-land all afternoon!
For the record, here's how those five first-half goals went in:
GOAL No. 1 (11 mins): LISBIE started the ball rolling with the simplest of goals. It was a dreadfully wild back pass from full-back Jon Otsemobor that set the tone, allowing Lisbie to intercept inside the box.
Keeper Michael Theoklitos should really have collected the bouncing ball, but he failed to connect with his intended punch, allowing it to balloon over his head, so enabling Lisbie to literally walk the ball into the net.
GOAL No. 2 (13 mins): PLATT enjoyed a simple tap in. The big man had originally nodded down Lee Beevers' long ball into the path of Lisbie. The Ipswich Town loanee turned inside defender Gary Doherty but did not appear to get enough power into his shot. However, Theokiltos made a meal of it and Platt bundled home the loose ball.
GOAL No. 3 (19 mins): A second goal for PLATT. Simon Hackney's cross from the left flashed across the face of goal, skimming the head of Beevers, and Platt calmly planted the ball into the roof of the net from just outside the six-yard box.
GOAL No. 4 (23 mins): FOX got into the act with a sweet free-kick. Vincent was fouled by Michael Nelson, when in full flow, and midfielder Fox curled the 22-yard free-kick over the defensive wall and past the despairing full-length dive of Theoklitos.
GOAL No. 5 (38 mins): It was LISBIE'S turn to chalk up his second goal of the game to complete the first-half rout. Platt flicked on Marc Tierney's long throw and Lisbie headed over Theoklitos from six yards out.
Four of the U's starting line-up were making their debuts - keeper Ben Williams, right-back Beevers, centre-half Magnus Okuonghae and midfielder David Fox. Fellow new arrivals Joel Thomas and Gary Holt were on the bench.
United started the brighter and skipper Dean Hammond lifted a 25-yard free-kick over the bar after just two minutes - the sort of position from which ex-U's winger Mark Yeates would have thrived.
However, you still could not have predicted that the visitors would have raced into a four-goal lead inside the first quarter of the game!
They duly took the lead in rather bizarre circumstances on 11 minutes, with LISBIE gifted a goal on a plate by the Canaries duo of Jon Ostemobor and Theoklitos.
PLATT then weighed in with two quickfire goals from close range, before FOX unbelievably curled home the fourth from a free-kick.
It was all rather surreal, especially when two irate Norwich fans ran onto the pitch following the fourth goal. One of them tore up his ticket and threw it in the direction of the home dug-out, before both were manhandled out of the ground.
Normality finally returned, at least for a few minutes! Norwich tried to force some pressure and skipper Gary Doherty headed narrowly over the bar from a corner in the 27th minute.
The Canaries had a good shout for a penalty turned down on 37 minutes, when the ball appeared to brush the hand of Hammond before it was cleared. Referee Rob Shoebridge waved play on, and it was not long before the U's were celebrating a fifth goal, thanks to LISBIE'S second of the afternoon.
City supporters showed their displeasure with the performance of their keeper Theoklitos by cheering in mock fashion every time he touched the ball for the rest of the first half. He had certainly suffered a horrific first 45 minutes.
Predictably, the half-time whistle was greeted by a chorus of boos from the Carrow Road locals.
Half-time: Norwich City 0 Colchester United 5
It should have been 6-0 in the 49th minute. Lisbie sneaked behind the back of City's defence and squared for the onrushing Vincent, who lifted his shot over the bar from a great position.
Tierney was the first U's player of the season to be booked, for a foul on Hoolahan on the hour mark, down near the corner flag.
A minute later and an outstanding save from Williams denied the Canaries a consolation. A bullet header from Tudor Jones looked a goal all the way, but the U's debutant produced terrific reflexes to push the ball to safety.
The home side finally got on the score-sheet in the 72nd minute. Substitute MCDONALD shrugged off the challenge of Pat Baldwin before sliding his shot under the body of Williams.
But the U's took just three minutes to restore their five-goal advantage. PERKINS let fly with a left-footed volley, following Platt's flick-on, which soared into the roof of the net.
And a dream afternoon was complete in the last minute of normal time. Substitute Kem Izzet worked wonders inside the penalty area before cutting the ball back for VERNON to slide into a gaping net.
NORWICH CITY: Theoklitos 4, Otsemobor 4, Nelson 5, Doherty 5, Drury 5, Whaley 5, TUDOR JONES 6, Gill 5 (sub Adeyemi, 58), Hoolahan 6, Holt 5, Martin 5 (sub McDonald, 58). Unused subs: Cureton, Spillane, Lappin, Maric, Alnwick.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Williams 7, Beevers 8, Baldwin 7, Okuonghae 7, Tierney 8, Vincent 8 (sub Izzet, 70), Hammond 8, Fox 8, Hackney 8 (sub Perkins, 66), PLATT 9, Lisbie 8 (sub Vernon, 63). Unused subs: Maybury, Holt, Thomas, Cousins.
Referee: Mr Rob Shoebridge (Derbyshire)