Ward enjoys reserve team match

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward says he has taken a lot of positives out of last night’s 2-2 reserve team draw against Stevenage.

Both teams fielded experienced sides in Maldon and the result was an entertaining score draw in the Totesport.com East Reserve League – Conor Powell and Ian Henderson scoring for the hosts.

“They are always a good side Stevenage,” said Ward, who watched Richard Hall’s side from the sidelines at the Wallace Binder Stadium.

“We lost 3-0 at their place earlier in the season and didn’t really match up to them, but last night we did.

“It was what I’d call a proper game. Sometimes you don’t get that at reserve team level so both teams can take a lot of credit for the way the game was played.

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“If it had been out here on the main pitch everyone would be shouting about what a great game it was, but instead it was in front of 500 people in Maldon.

“For me the best part was that the attitude was spot on and that’s important because everybody is going to be needed over this up-and-coming busy period of games.”

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Luke Daley broke the deadlock for Boro in the seventh minute, tapping home after David Bridges’ shot came back off the post.

Stevenage keeper Ashley Bayes then produced an excellent save to prevent Matthias Vilhjalmsson scoring when one-on-one after half an hour.

The Icelandic international may have been foiled, but Colchester’s other recent signing, Irish left-sided specialist Powell, wasn’t to be denied when he did well to control a cross and shoot home low at the near post.

Kayode Odejayi was denied by another good Bayes save after the break before Ian Henderson’s deflected shot put the U’s in front.

Stevenage quickly equalised when Daley raced into the box and powered home. And despite an open last 30 minutes the scores remained level.

Teenage left-back Seb Dunbar – an 18-year-old who was recently released by Ipswich Town – played the entire match at left-back for Colchester on trial. He has been training with the U’s recently.

And Dan Subuola – a powerful striker – came on in the second half. He is a second year academy player at West Ham but has been told by the Hammers that he won’t be getting a professional contract.

“They’ve been released by their clubs or told they’re not going to get a contract so we want to have a look at those type of players,” said Ward. “I’ve said before that we’re looking at the future as well as the present and that’s part and parcel of that.”

John White played at centre-back alongside Pat Baldwin, while Norwegian Morten Knudsen continued his recovery from a long-term knee injury with another second string outing at right-back. Anthony Wordsworth came on in the second half.

– All the latest U’s news in tomorrow’s EADT.

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