Walker penalty save helps U’s to vital win

Colchester United 2 Leyton Orient 1

COLCHESTER United recorded a precious victory over Leyton Orient this afternoon, to inch closer to League One safety.

But they had keeper Sam Walker to thank, for his 78th minute penalty save to deny former Colchester old boy Kevin Lisbie.

Two goals in a four-minute spell by Gavin Massey and Drey Wright, midway through the first half, had put the U’s in a comfortable position.

But Lisbie halved the deficit on 37 minutes to ensure a nervous rest of the afternoon for Joe Dunne’s men.


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The O’s were handed a golden chance to equalise, when Bradley Garmston conceded a penalty for a foul on substitute Shaun Batt.

But Lisbie’s penalty was well saved by Walker, and the U’s held on to bag a valuable three points.

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The U’s took the lead on 20 minutes, thanks to a sweet headed finish by Massey.

Substitute Garmston, who had replaced an injured Josh Thompson, raced onto Jabo Ibehre’s lay-off and delivered a penetrating cross from the left flank.

An unmarked Massey powered in to head gloriously into the roof of the net from six yards out.

Four minutes later and the U’s were 2-0 up and in control.

It was another good team-goal. Brian Wilson scampered down the right flank on the overlap to receive Drey Wright’s pass and deliver a low cross into the box.

Clinton Morrison controlled and teed up the advancing Drey Wright, who fired low into the net from 15 yards out.

Despite being in the ascendancy, the U’s could not find a killer third goal and the complexion of the game changed when Lisbie burst through unmarked to halve the deficit on 37 minutes with a super-cool finish.

So instead of being comfortable at half-time, the U’s were left hanging onto their lead for the closing minute of the first period.

Just before the hour mark, Ibehre spurned a good chance to restore the U’s two-goal lead. He had just keeper Jamie Jones to beat, but pulled his shot agonisingly wide of the far post.

The U’s had to defend for much of the rest of the game, and they were indebted to Walker’s 78th minute penalty save to deny Lisbie, and the O’s.

Squads

LEYTON ORIENT: Jones, Odubajo, Clarke, Vincelot, McSweeney, Smith, Rowlands, James (sub Batt, 46), Cox, MacDonald (sub Obafemi, 84), Lisbie. Unused subs: Sawyer, Lee, Vanderhyde.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Walker, Wilson, Okuonghae, Thompson (sub Garmston, 11), White, Clifford (sub O’Toole, 65), David Wright, Massey, Morrison (sub Smith, 76), Drey Wright, Ibehre. Unused subs: Bond, Bean, Compton, Cousins.

Referee: R Clark (Northumberland)

Attendance: 4,704

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