U’s grab a late equaliser to deny Cherries
AFC Bournemouth 1 Colchester United 1
COLCHESTER United salvaged a point at Bournemouth this afternoon, thanks to Tom Eastman’s second goal for the club.
Eastman stabbed home a fierce low cross by Michael Rose with just seven minutes remaining to cancel out Shaun MacDonald’s 11th minute opener.
The U’s finished this game strongly, and so deserved a share of the spoils on the Dorset coast.
However, the U’s have now failed to win any of their last 11 games, with nine draws and two defeats.
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United made just one change to the side that drew 1-1 against promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.
No. 1 keeper Ben Williams missed out due to injury, and so was replaced by Mark Cousins. It was his first senior game since last September.
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The U’s had a flurry of chances, before they conceded the early goal, not least when Andy Bond rattled the bar with a thunderous 15-yard shot following a corner routine.
Home keeper Darryl Flahavan also did well to divert a long-range shot by Brian Wilson over the bar, during the same move.
These chances arrived on 10 minutes, but just 60 seconds later and the U’s were behind, against the run of play.
The U’s defence stopped abruptly, believing Zavon Hines to be offside, but play continued and midfielder MacDonald was onside as he scampered onto Scott Malone’s through ball.
MacDonald kept his cool to round keeper Cousins and plant into an empty net from close-in.
The U’s nearly equalised in the 16th minute. Anthony Wordsworth stabbed goalwards from a corner, but goalscorer MacDonald was back on the goal-line to hack to safety.
It was fairly even for the rest of the first half, so the U’s could feel aggrieved to be behind at half-time.
But Bournemouth dominated the start of the second half, and it needed a good save by Cousins, who beat away Wes Thomas’ shot, to deny the hosts a second goal in the 57th minute.
The U’s came close to an equaliser on 79 minutes. Rose lashed in a superb 20-yard angled drive that Flahavan was at full stretch to block. Wordsworth tried to bury the rebound, but was slightly off balance as his effort looped wide.
However, the visitors did equalise in the 83rd minute. Rose delivered a dangerous low cross form the left and Eastman appeared to get the last touch.
That equaliser prevented the Cherries from leapfrogging the U’s in the League One table.
BOURNEMOUTH: Flahavan, Francis, Cook, Addison, Daniels (sub Zubar, 81), Cooper (sub Gregory, 66) Pugh, MacDonald, Malone, Thomas, Hines (sub McDermott, 76). Unused subs: Jalal, Taylor.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Cousins, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, White, Bond, Izzet (sub Odejayi, 64) Wordsworth, Duguid (sub Rose, 31) Henderson, Gillespie (sub James, 75). Unused subs: O’Toole, Sears.
Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)