U’s denied by late equaliser again

Colchester United were denied by a late equaliser for the second week running as Sheffield Wednesday substitute Neil Mellor’s 84th minute goal cancelled out Andy Bond’s stunning opener.

Match Report: npower League One

Colchester United 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1

COLCHESTER United conceded a late equaliser for the second week running after dominating a second half against promotion favourites Sheffield Wednesday.

The U’s looked to be deservedly heading for victory at the Weston Homes Community Stadium following Andy Bond’s sensational outside-of-the-boot 50th minute opener.

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Colchester were well on top for a long period after the goal and were unfortunate not to double their lead when David Mooney thumped the foot of the post from outside the box.

Their inability to kill the game off was punished in the 84th minute though when substitute Neil Mellor muscled his way past Paul Reid in the box to stab home.

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U’s boss John Ward named an unchanged side from that which beat Hereford 3-0 in the Carling Cup in midweek, with Mooney and Bond both passed fit after ankle injuries.

The Colchester manager had promised not to alter his attacking ethos for the visit of one of the promotion favourites and his side certainly gave as good as they got in an even first half.

Ian Henderson drifted inside from the right and saw a shot from outside the box fizz past the post in the 10th minute, while the energetic midfielder chose to cross rather than shoot from a good position midway through the half.

Sheffield Wednesday had chances of their own in the opening period though and twice they came close to breaking the deadlock as half-time approached.

First Clinton Morrison hooked a fine volley narrowly over the bar after Marcus Tudgay had done well to head on a deep free-kick.

Then, six minutes before the break, Paul Reid saved the day with a superb block on the goalline after a poor stooping punch from keeper Mark Cousins had gifted Morrison a chance from close range.

Colchester came out with a flurry of attacks after the restart and it left the visitors shell-shocked.

The U’s had clearly been instructed to shoot on sight and, after David Perkins had tested the keeper from outside of the box, Bond came up with a superb 50th minute opener.

When Henderson shifted the ball right the ball it looked to be drifting away from non-league summer signing Bond, but he surprised everyone in the stadium by striking the ball sweetly with the outside of his boot to send it flying inside the keeper’s near post from outside of the box.

Five minutes later Mooney fired wide following a fine Perkins cut-back from the goalline, while moments afterwards the on loan Reading striker was unfortunate to see a low shot from outside the box come back off the base of the left-hand post.

Sheffield Wednesday rode the storm though and found their equaliser six minutes from time when, following a bought of head tennis in the home box, sub Mellor muscled his way through before stabbing home.

Just like in the previous week at Exeter it was a bitter blow, but once again Colchester can take great heart from their performance.

– Match reaction to follow.

Colchester (4-3-3): Cousins; Wilson, Tierney, Okuonghae, Reid; Bond, Izzet, Perkins; Henderson (Vincent 80), Wordsworth, Mooney (Odejayi 89).

Unused Subs: Baldwin, Hackney, White, James, Pentney.

Booked: Wordsworth (74), Odejayi (90).

Sheff Weds (4-4-2): Weaver; Buxton, Spurr, Purse, Beevers; Sedgewick, Teale (Mellor 62), Coke, O’Connor (Potter 67); Morrison, Tudgay.

Unused Subs: Heffernan, Jones, Palmer, Otsemobor, O’Donnell.

Booked: Coke (69).

Man-of-the-Match: David Perkins.

Attendance: 6,011.

Referee: Mr D Phillips (West Sussex)

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