Visiting Newport stand firm as Colchester United unable to break down League 2’s basement team

File picture of Dion Sembie-Ferris in action for Colchester United.
Picture: Steve Waller
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File picture of Dion Sembie-Ferris in action for Colchester United. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The home fans made their feelings known at the Weston Homes Community Stadium today as their side failed to score against bottom-of-the-table Newport.

Boos followed the players off at the final whistle after a 0-0 draw in which the Us had plenty of chances to score, but at times found themselves very much matched by their opponents.

The first half was pretty uninspiring fare with Colchester failing to make the most of their spells of dominance.

Lewis Kinsella made the first play of note in the third minute with a cross from the left which was cleared. Not long after Chris Porter was sent chasing a long ball but Newport ‘keeper Joe Day was waiting on the edge of his penalty area to scoop it up in time.

The first chance for Newport came when two of their double-barrelled trio, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb and Reece Grego-Cox, combined down the right to give the latter a chance of a shot. However he fired straight at Sam Walker who held easily.


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Jennison Myrie-Williams created the next opportunity for the visitors, working well down the left to pass back to Dan Butler whose high cross was only palmed away by Walker in the 11th minute before eventually being cleared.

A corner shortly after was dealt with more successfully by the Us stopper.

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Sammie Szmodics livened things up from the host’s point of view after running through the centre and shooting, only for Day to save.

Szmodics was again at the heart of the action when he found Porter in the 16th minute, but the latter thought his teammate was quicker than he was and the return ball was too far in front of the midfielder.

Rhys Healey, Newport’s number 19, was next to get a shot away after cutting in from the left but he fired wide to the far side of Walker’s goal.

The first of two good strikes from Drey Wright came in the 20th minute after Kinsella’s cross missed the head of Porter but fell onto the foot of the winger who volleyed at Day who had to parry behind for a corner.

Craig Slater had the first free-kick for the Us in the 23rd minute in a good shooting position, but missed the target near on the left.

Straight up the other end from the goal kick and Myrie-Williams found Jon Parkin with a cross. The powerful forward shot hard at Walker who pushed the ball over his bar. The resulting corner was much less of a threat.

Wright again brought Colchester close to opening the scoring just after the half hour mark when, from well outside the box, he unleashed a fierce shot which just skimmed the top of Newport’s bar.

Tarique Fosu next had a sniff of goal but was only able to lift the ball well over the top of the goal.

Kurtis Guthrie gave Grego-Cox a golden chance to send a dangerous free-kick into the Colchester box from just outside the area on the left after bringing down Myrie-Williams, but the delivery was sent in too close to Walker who punched it away.

The last significant actions of the half both involved knocks to Colchester players, an offisde Parkin challenging for a ball with Walker with the ‘keeper coming off the worse and taking brief treatment, before Grego-Cox and Kinsella clashed with the latter taking a knock to his ankle which forced him off at half time.

The Us almost made a dream start to the second half with a great run by Drey Wright down the right wing ending with a cross into the box which was sent sky high.

Darren Jones, Newport’s centre-back, created the first opportunity for the visitors of the second period but, finding himself much higher up the pitch than he had been used to so far, sent a powerless and unthreatening daisy cutter wide of Walker’s goal.

The first yellow card of the game was issued from referee Mark Haywood’s pocket after an hour, brandished in the direction of visiting right-back Barnum-Bobb for bringing down Fosu.

Fosu’s next action was to be substituted, replaced by Dion Sembie-Ferris.

The next five minutes saw the Newport players come out their shells for a bit, winning a few corners and generally putting the Us under pressure they had been unused to thus far.

After 70 minutes Szmodics surged through the centre for Colchester and found his way into the Newport box but a slightly heavy touch to get through the defence saw the ball run away from him to be quickly cleared.

When the match moved into its final 10 minutes both sides seemed to sense a win was available and things began to liven up again.

Grego-Cox was taken off and replaced by Jordan Green, who shot wide powerfully (much to the disgust of Parkin) after a deflected attempt from fellow substitute Marlon Jackson found his feet.

Up at the other end it was Colchester’s sub Johnstone who tried to find the net next, lifting the ball up and over the onrushing Day, but wide of the stopper’s unguarded net.

Parkin attempted something similar when facing Walker a minute later, but he instead put the effort over the bar.

The impressive Wright shot low at Day with less than five minutes left and Walker had a simple save to make when Jackson rose highest in the box to head at goal.

A final free-kick from Slater was cleared away by Newport as the Us failed to find a way through their visitors in the closing stages.

The result was greeted with brief, but audible, boos from the home crowd.

LINE-UPS

Colchester United (4-1-4-1): Walker; Brindley, Eastman, Wynter, Kinsella; Slater; Drey Wright, Guthrie, Szmodics, Fosu; Porter. Subs: Barnes, Akinwande, Johnstone, Sembie-Ferris, James, Peter, Diaz Wright.

Newport County (5-3-2): Day; Barnum-Bobb, Bignot, Jones, Bennett, Butler; Grego-Cox, Tozer, Myrie-Williams; Healey, Parkin. Subs: Bittner, Compton, Randall, Jackson, Green, Angel, Rigg.

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