U’s come from two down to beat Orient
npower League One Colchester Utd 3 Leyton Orient 2 BRIAN Wilson curled home a superb free-kick 10 minutes from time as Colchester United came from two goals down to beat Leyton Orient in a pulsating match.
The O’s broke the deadlock against the run of play in the 10th minute when Alex Revell headed home a free-kick from the left and doubled their advantage eight minutes later when the same player scrambled home a low cross from the right.
Colchester came back strongly though and reduced the deficit in 22nd minute when defender Matt Heath smashed home from close range following a scramble in the box.
And they drew level soon after the half hour when David Mooney converted a penalty awarded for a foul on Ashley Vincent in the box.
Midfielder Andy Bond – playing on the left of midfield – had a hand in both goals, his header setting up the first and his incisive through ball putting Vincent away for the second.
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Both sides had efforts cleared off the line at the start of the second half before the match finally settled down.
It was Colchester who were able to find a winner 10 minutes from time though when right-back Wilson curled an excellent free-kick into the top corner from 25 yards out.
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This victory – the U’s third in succession – keeps them joint-second in the table and eight points behind leaders Brighton.
Colchester, unchanged from their 2-1 win over Bournemouth at the weekend, dominated the opening exchanges of this match as Andy Bond, David Perkins and Ashley Vincent all saw efforts deflected behind for corners.
However, it was Orient who took the lead massively against the run of play in the 10th minute when striker Revell – who started his career at non-league side Braintree Town – headed home Dean Cox’s superb free-kick from the left.
The lead was then doubled eight minutes later when Charlie Daniels’ low cross into the six-yard box caused havoc before Revell appeared to get the last touch to send the ball trickling agonisingly over the line.
The visitors two-goal advantage didn’t last long though as, just four minutes later, defender Matt Heath smashed home from close range following an almighty bout of head tennis in the visitors’ box.
It was the 29-year-old’s first goal since March 2009 when he scored for loan club Gillingham and his first for the U’s since August 2008.
The goal inspired Colchester to push on and they drew level in the 32nd minute courtesy of a cool Mooney spot-kick after Vincent was fouled just inside the box following a visionary through ball from Bond.
U’s fans protested that Whing should have been dismissed as the last man, but after a long delay the referee chose only to book the debutant.
Colchester continued to look dangerous after their equaliser as they continually looked to get in behind the O’s defence, however Orient were a clear goal threat on the counter-attack and keeper Ben Williams had to be quick off his line to stop at the feet of Cox just before the break.
The U’s started the second half just like the first and almost got their noses in front two minutes after the restart when Kayode Odejayi, off balance and with his back to goal, improvised brilliantly to hook Vincent’s low cross onto the near post.
The end-to-end nature of the match then continued as both sides had shots cleared off the line. At one end Brian Wilson had to head Whing’s volley away after it just evaded Ben Williams’ acrobatic dive, before moments later Heath’s towering header from a corner was scrambled clear.
The game quietened down as players tired, with Ward introducing fresh legs in the form of Watford loanee Liam Henderson and Lloyd James for Odejayi and Izzet.
And it was James who had a big hand as Colchester took the lead 10 minutes from time when hew spinned Matt Spring 25 yards from goal to win a free-kick. Everyone in the ground was expecting Tom Williams to hit it following his stunning free-kick goal versus Bournemouth, but it was fellow full-back Brian Wilson who curled the ball brilliantly into the top right corner.
There was a hearts in mouth moment for the home fans deep into injury time when Adam Chambers volleyed through a crowd of players and just past the post, but Colchester held on for a spirited comeback victory.
– Full match report and reaction in Wednesday’s EADT.
Colchester Utd (4-4-1-1): B Williams; Wilson, T Williams, Okuonghae, Heath; Bond, Vincent, Izzet (James 73), Perkins; Mooney (I Henderson 85), Odejayi (L Henderson 73).
Unused Subs: Cousins, Baldwin, Tierney, Beevers.
Leyton Orient (4-1-4-1): Butcher; Omozusi, Daniels, Whing, Forbes; Spring, Smith (Walker 83), Chorley, Chambers, Cox; Revell (Tehoue 72).
Unused Subs: Jones, Brown, Dawson, Jarvis, Cestor.
Booked: Whing (32).
U’s Man-of-the-Match: Matt Heath – the imposing centre-back was superb in both boxes
Referee: Mr Grant Hegley (Herts)