Thank goodness for Gillespie

SUPER-SUB Steven Gillespie rescued a point for below-par Colchester United, by providing the ammunition for a second-half equaliser against adventurous Bournemouth.

Gillespie had been unleashed off the bench to score both goals in a 2-1 win over the Cherries in this fixture last season, and he again made a difference last night.

Trailing to a goal after just 16 seconds, the U’s looked to be heading for a home defeat until some excellent work by Gillespie forced defender Stephane Zubar to turn the ball into his own net on 72 minutes.

Gillespie’s perseverance won the day. He robbed left-back Warren Cummings near the by-line and cut inside before crossing low into the six-yard box.

Kayode Odejayi was ready to bundle home, but Cherries centre-half Zubar did the work for him by diverting the ball into his own net.

It was a point that the U’s barely deserved. They started poorly and never really got out of first gear.

The U’s had conceded after just 40 seconds in their previous home game, a 2-2 draw against Yeovil, and they were trailing even sooner last night.

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There were just 16 seconds on the clock when Wesley Thomas latched onto Scott Malone’s through ball.

Front-runner Thomas benefited from hesitancy by defender Magnus Okuonghae, before crashing an angled 20-yard drive into the far corner of the net.

For long periods it looked as though the U’s would not find an equaliser, but Gillespie’s introduction at least salavaged a point.

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