Colchester United 3-3 Oldham Athletic
Careless Colchester United twice allowed the lead to slip as struggling Oldham Athletic battled back to take a point from this cracking Sky Bet League Two cracker at the JobServe Community Stadium
Overall, It has been a resolute and satisfactory start to the campaign for Steve Ball’s charges. A comfortable victory over Bolton on home territory backed up by points on the road at Bradford City and Barrow. However, despite adding to their early-season points haul, Colchester’s frustration on the final whistle was clear to see.
The home side eased through the opening period. Jevani Brown, Miles Welch-Hayes and Kwame Poku asked questions of a creaky Latics rearguard. Indeed, Colchester were constantly knocking on the door and shortly before the half-hour mark, they broke through. Callum Harriott played in Ben Stevenson – the Leicester-born midfield in turn delightfully lifting over the advancing Ian Lawlor to open the scoring.
And soon the dominant U’s made it two. Cohen Bramall’s shot was handled by Conor McAleny – Callum Harriot sending Lawlor the wrong way from the resulting spot-kick.
Incredibly, Oldham were to turn the game around inside two second-half minutes. Dylan Moyo Bahamboula was met by a clumsy challenge from Cohen – McAleny squeezing home the penalty. Despite Dean Gerken getting a big hand to the effort.
Then with the Latics next foray forward, Carl Piergianni met Conor McAleny’s flick at the back post to fire into an open goal and level the contest.
The U’s were clearly shaken – but regrouped. Miles Welch-Hayes met Stevenson’s deep cross with a flashing header – the hosts lead restored – the full-back celebrating his first goal in a Colchester shirt.
Nevertheless, we now had a game on our hands. Substitute, Luke Norris, went close to extending the U’s advantage, while Dylan Fage and Dylan Bahamboula provided a threat as the Latics again looked to salvage something from the game.
And with time running out, the visitors struck again. McAleny thumped home his second of the afternoon, sparking wild celebrations amongst the Oldham contingent. Certainly, their second-half performance was worthy of a share of the spoils.
Colchester United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday, October 10 when they take on Walsall at the Bescot Stadium (3pm)
Colchester United: Dean Gerken, Miles Welch-Hayes, Tom Eastman, Tommy Smith, Cohen Bramall, Noah Chilvers (Luke Gambin 83’), Ben Stevenson, Callum Harriott (Paris Cowan-Hall 71’), Kwame Poku, Courtney Senior (Luke Norris 58’), Jevani Brown Subs not used: Omar Sowunmi, Miquel Scarlett, Shamal George (GK), Marley Marshall Miranda
Booked: Cohen Bramall (foul), Courtney Senior (foul), Ben Stevenson (foul), Miles Welch-Hayes (time-wasting)
Goals: Ben Stevenson 28’, Callum Harriott (penalty) 38’, Miles Welch-Hayes 65’
Oldham Athletic: Ian Lawlor, Sido Jombati, Carl Piergianni, Thomas Hamer, Andrea Radan (Cameron Borthwick-Jackson 16’) (Jordan Barnett 46’), Dylon Fage, Callum Whelan (Dylan Moyo Bahamboula 46’), Ben Garrity, Alfie McCalmont, Conor McAleny, George Blackwood Subs not used: Daniel Rowe, Davis Keillor-Dunn, Robert Grant, Mackenzie Chapman
Booked: Dylan Bahamboula (foul)
Goals: Conor McAleny (penalty) 52’, 87’, Carl Piergianni 54’
Referee: Paul Howard
Assistants: Paul Kelly and Darren Blunden
Fourth Official: Damith Bandara