Town lose to freak goal and finish second in group
Town will have an away game in the second round of the Leasing.com Trophy after going down to a freak goal from Ryan Clampin.
The left-back smashed the ball over Tomas Holy and into the roof of the net from 40 yards in the closing stages at the JobServe Community Stadium to leave Blues in second place in the group behind the A12 neighbours.
Gwion Edwards and Ben Folami both went close for Town while in added on time, Tawanda Chirewa at 16 years and 31 days became the second youngest player in the Club’s history behind Connor Wickham.
Brett McGavin came in for his debut in one of four changes to the team that drew with Lincoln at the weekend. Chirewa, not yet a full-time scholar at the Academy, was among the substitutes along with another teenager, Liam Gibbs.
Edwards fired wide from 30 yards as Town looked for an early breakthrough, Emyr Huws seeing a shot cannon away to safety off former Blues’ Academy product, Omar Sowunmi, then Ethan Ross was forced into a save from an explosive effort from Idris El Mizouni.
Ross gathered well from Edwards’ dangerous cross from the right, James Wilson, skipper on the night, did well to stop the threat from Courtney Senior as Colchester responded, then former Blue, Frank Nouble, led a break for the home side until Janoi Donacien intervened.
Good work down the right from Folami opened up the home defence but from the cross, Edwards dragged his shot wide, while at the other end Senior was crowded out inside the Town box.
Folami was denied his first goal for Blues with a deflection sending his goalbound effort over the bar, Colchester finishing the half with a free-kick 20 yards out that Luke Norris sent into the sidenetting.
Anthony Georgiou won an early corner in the second-half after El Mizouni burst through the Colchester midfield, El Mizouni seeing a curler deflected wide by Sowunmi as Town exerted early pressure on the home goal.
Tomas Holy held on from Senior’s header, Georgiou’s free-kick just evading Toto Nsiala but on 78 minutes Colchester won the game out of nowhere, Clampin finding the net from fully 40 yards.
A flurry of substitutes late on saw Gibbs make his debut, with Chirewa entering the fray in added on time – and a place in the Town history books.
Colchester: Ross, Lapslie, Prosser, Sowunmi, Senior (Poku 64), Pell, Norris, Brown, Sarpong-Wiredu (Jackson 56), Clampin, Nouble (Robinson 71). Subs not used: Gerken, Bramall, Eastman, Stevenson. Booked: Norris, Sowunmi.
Town: Holy, Donacien, Wilson, Nsiala, Kenlock, Edwards (Chirewa 90), El Mizouni (Hughes 86), McGavin, Huws, Georgiou (Gibbs 86), Folami. Subs not used: Norris, Rowe, Woolfenden, K.Brown. Booked: Wilson.