U’s on wrong end of a hiding at Tranmere
Tranmere Rovers 4 Colchester United 0
COLCHESTER United were soundly thrashed by an in form Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park this afternoon.
Striker Jake Cassidy helped himself to a hat-trick as the U’s were left still searching for their first win of the season.
Cassidy broke the deadlock in the 40th minute, and added further goals in the 48th and 71st minutes, with left-back Zoumana Bakayogo also on target for the dominant hosts.
The U’s actually matched their hosts for the majority of the first half, but they were simply blown after the break, to ensure a depressing long journey home from the Wirral.
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U’s boss John Ward made two changes to the side that had held promotion favourites Sheffield United to a 1-1 draw last weekend.
In came midfielder Andy Bond and right winger Karl Duguid for their first league starts of the season, in place of John-Joe O’Toole and Ian Henderson, who were both named on the bench.
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The visitors looked solid for the first half-hour, and Anthony Wordsworth had a couple of chances to break the deadlock before Rovers scored.
Wordsworth headed inches wide of the near post from Michael Rose’s fifth minute cross, and then nearly managed to round Owain fon Williams on 20 minutes, only for the keeper to block his effort from point blank range.
However, Rovers had their chances as well, most notably when skipper James Wallace’s powerful header bounced off a post, with Mark Cousins beaten, in the 36th minute.
Four minutes later and Cousins had no chance as Cassidy glanced home Andy Robinson’s teasing cross from the left.
It got worse for the U’s inside three minutes of the second period. Cassidy raced through unattended to slot past the advancing Cousins to double the lead for Rovers.
And the game was effectively killed off, as a contest, when left-back Bakayogo crashed home Tranmere’s third into the roof of the net, following Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro’s lay-off.
To rub salt into the wounds, an alert Cassidy then thumped home his hat-trick goal, and Rovers’ fourth, from close in on 72 minutes.
Rovers also hit the woodwork through Akpa Akpro to complete a miserable day for the U’s.
TRANMERE ROVERS: fon Williams, Holmes, Bakayogo, Golobart, Gibson, Palmer, Wallace, Bell-Baggie, Robinson (sub Kirby, 77), Cassidy (sub Stockton, 82), Akpa Akpro. Unused subs: McGurk, Harrison, Power, Kay, Mooney.
COLCHESTER: Cousins, Wilson, Okuonghae, Heath, Rose, Bean, Bond, Duguid (sub Henderson, 63), Wordsworth (sub Massey, 63), Sears (sub O’Toole, 88), Morrison. Unused subs: Pentney, Izzet, Eastman, White.
Referee: Andrew Madley