Eastman celebrates milestone with vital U’s winner

Brian Jeeves
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Colchester United v Bradford City – Sky Bet League Two – JobServe Community Stadium – Report

Colchester United 1-0 Bradford City

Long-serving defender, Tom Eastman celebrated his 400th league appearance for Colchester United by heading a dramatic stoppage-time winner against Bradford City at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Despite winning at Portman Road in the Carabao Cup, it had been a far from a perfect start to the season for Wayne Brown’s men who went into the game with a single point from nine on offer and another relegation battle, even at this early stage of the season, seemingly looming.

Perhaps with that in mind, the U’s started brightly with Frank Nouble fashioning a decent opening for Alex Newby in the opening minutes. Bradford countered. Alex Gilliead’s left-footed strike drifted just the wrong side of an upright, while Scott Banks drove directly at Sam Hornby as the visitors marked Colchester’s card.

Noah Chilvers saw his attempt deflected behind after breaking powerfully from deep. Soon after, Nouble nodded against the face of the bar after Luke Hannant had picked him out from the right.

The scrappy nature of the contest continued after the restart. Harry Lewis produced a superb save, somehow clawing out Newby’s half-hit attempt after Chilvers had centred. Meanwhile, Hornby, playing against his former side, diverted Matty Platt’s close-range header with his face then stuck out a glove to save substitute, Kian Harratt’s thumping effort as Bradford threatened.

Bradford wanted a penalty when former Leyton Orient man, Lee Angol went over under a challenge from Cameron Coxe. Referee, Carl Brook, certainly raised his whistle towards his lips, but then waved away the Bantams’ appeals.

Eastman’s late header was hooked off the line as the sides continued to toil fruitlessly. But when the popular defender was provided with another opportunity by Chilvers in the sixth minute of added time, he headed firmly beyond Lewis to steal the points.

Colchester United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday, August 20 when they face Leyton Orient at the JobServe Community Stadium (3pm).

Colchester United: Sam Hornby, Luke Chambers, Luke Hannant (John Akinde 88′), Freddie Sears, Noah Chilvers, Tom Eastman, Alex Newby, Cameron Coxe, Al-Amin Kazeem, Marley Marshall Miranda, Frank Nouble (Ryan Clampin 72′) Subs not used: Ted Collins (GK), Tom Dallison, Ossama Ashley, Junior Tchamadeu, Samson Tovide

Booked: None
Goals: Tom Eastman 90+6′

Bradford City: Harry Lewis, Brad Halliday, Liam Ridehalgh, Matty Platt, Richie Smallwood, Alex Gilliead, Scott Banks, Vadaine Oliver (Andy Cook 79′), Harry Chapman (Kian Harratt 79′), Jake Young (Lee Angol 46′), Romoney Crichlow Subs not used: Colin Doyle (GK), Yann Songo’o, Matty Foulds, Ryan East

Booked: Matty Platt (ungentlemanly conduct), Lee Angol (retaliation), Brad Halliday (foul)
Goals: None

Referee: Carl Brook
Assistants: Daniel Bonneywell and Michael Chard
Fourth Official: Andy Bennett

Attendance: 3,011 (467 from Bradford City)

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk