Williams bags hat-trick for reserves

GARETH Williams bagged a hat-trick in Colchester United Reserves' 5-2 victory over Barnet's second string, in a Pontin's Combination fixture at Layer Road yesterday afternoon.

By Carl Marston

GARETH Williams bagged a hat-trick in Colchester United Reserves' 5-2 victory over Barnet's second string, in a Pontin's Combination fixture at Layer Road yesterday afternoon.

Front-runner Williams is trying to force himself back into the senior side, after appearing as a substitute in the U's dramatic 3-1 defeat at Premiership champions Chelsea in Sunday's FA Cup fifth-round tie.

The Welshman is currently playing second fiddle to leading scorer Chris Iwelumo, and an in-form Richard Garcia, although he is bound to have his part to play in the U's bid for promotion.


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There was a further boost for manager Phil Parkinson, in the shape of midfielder Kem Izzet, who netted the other two in the big win over Barnet Reserves.

Izzet, like Williams, has spent most of this season on the first-team bench. But the former Charlton trainee is keeping the pressure on fellow midfielders Kevin Watson and Neil Danns.

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Izzet had been poised to come on as a substitute at Stamford Bridge, until Joe Cole swept Chelsea into a 2-1 lead on 79 minutes. That goal forced Parkinson to change his tactics, and so introduce attacking substitute Williams instead.

Each member of yesterday's second-string back-four have already made a big impact in the first team this campaign. Centre-half Liam Chilvers and right-back Sam Stockley both enjoyed 90 minutes of action, while left-back George Elokobi and central defender Garry Richards both played the whole of the first half.

Striker Tony Thorpe, who has only made two very brief appearances as a substitute, since his arrival at Layer Road last month, came through yesterday's game unscathed.

Meanwhile, right-midfielder Greg Halford made an appearance for the Football League under-21s in Tuesday night's 1-0 victory over their Italian counterparts from Seria B. Halford played the final half-hour as a second-half substitute.

The U's are in League One action at promotion rivals Barnsley this Saturday. They then have a free week before enter-taining league leaders Southend.

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