U's stretch unbeaten run to four games

Hull City 1 Colchester United 1AN in-form Johnnie Jackson scored again as Colchester United stretched their unbeaten run to four games at play-off chasing Hull City this afternoon.

Hull City 1 Colchester United 1

By Carl Marston

AN in-form Johnnie Jackson scored again as Colchester United stretched their unbeaten run to four games at play-off chasing Hull City this afternoon.

Jackson bagged his third goal of the week to put the U's in front on Humberside, and although Geraint Williams' men could not hang on, this was still another encouraging result.


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They remain in the bottom three, but their recent form suggests that they have a fighting chance of beating the drop.

After a goal-less first-half, the U's took the lead within two minutes of the restart. Jackson found the back of the net with a rasping shot from the edge of the box, to follow up his goals at Burnley and against Preston from earlier in the week.

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Kem Izzet missed a great chance to double the lead shortly afterwards, but he failed to hit the target and Hull struck with the equaliser on 64 minutes. Fraizer Campbell headed home Jay-Jay Okocha's free-kick.

Ex-Colchester defender Wayne Brown nearly netted a dramatic late winner against his old club, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Dean Gerken.

The visitors should really have broken the deadlock in the 10th minute. Karl Duguid controlled Scott Vernon's lay-off and whipped over a cross that Johnnie Jackson headed over the bar from just six yards out. That was a good chance wasted.

Barmby's involvement in the game was short-lived. The veteran front-runner appeared to strain his hamstring while attempting to chase onto Jay-Jay Okocha's through ball, and so was replaced by substitute Dean Marney in the 16th minute.

And Marney was quickly in the action. Within a few seconds he had registered the game's first effort on target with a header that Dean Gerken saved to his left.

The U's spurned their second good opportunity of the first-half in the 33rd minute. Vernon pounced on the loose ball before keeper Bo Myhill and back-heeled into the path of Kem Izzet, who floated over a cross which Clive Platt headed over the bar and onto the top of the net. The big man was slightly off balance, but was just six yards from goal.

Dean Gerken was called into action in first-half stoppage time. Ryan France sneaked behind the U's back-line, but was denied by the U's keeper, who saved with his legs.

JACKSON fired Colchester ahead with a clinical strike within two minutes of the restart.

The ex-Tottenham midfielder burst onto Vernon's assist and tried his luck with a long-range shot that flew into the top corner of the net, even though keeper Myhill appeared to get a hand to it.

It was Jackson's third goal of the week, following his goals against Burnley and Preston, and his sixth of the season.

Hull nearly grabbed a quickfire equaliser in bizarre fashion just a minute later. Coyne inexplicably headed towards his own net, forcing keeper Gerken into a smart rolling save on his goal-line.

Izzet should really have doubled Colchester's lead in the 51st minute. The U's midfielder latched onto Vernon's lay-off and had just keeper Myhill to beat, but he dragged his shot wide of the far post from 10 yards out. That was a glaring miss.

And Hull netted the equaliser in the 64th minute, with CAMPBELL nodding home from a free-kick.

Danny Granville committed a foul in a dangerous position, and Okocha swung over a free-kick for Campbell to nip in front of his marker and send a scorching header past Gerken. It was Campbell's eighth goal of the season.

Brown was desperately close to scoring the winner against his old club in the 87th minute. Ifil was penalised and the U's could not clear the free-kick. Brown's shot looked destined for the net, but Gerken diverted the ball around his post for a corner with a stunning reflex save.

It would have been harsh on Colchester to concede a late goal, because this was a deserved point.

Squads

HULL CITY: Myhill 6, Ricketts 7, Brown 7, Turner 7, Pederson 6, FRANCE 8, Ashbee 7, Walton 5 (sub Folan, 46) 6, Okocha 7, Barmby 6 (sub Marney, 16) 7, Campbell 8. Unused subs: Doyle, Featherstone, Tyler.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken 8, Ifil 7, Coyne 7, Virgo 7 (sub Granville, 46) 7, White 7, Duguid 7, Izzet 7, Jackson 7, McLeod 6, Platt 6, VERNON 8. Unused subs: Watson, Sheringham, Guttridge, Cousins.

Referee: Mr P Walton (Northants) 8

Attendance: 15,664

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