Impressive U’s comfortably dispatch Rovers

Colchester United v Tranmere Rovers – Sky Bet League Two – JobServe Community Stadium – Report

Colchester United 2-0 Tranmere Rovers

Colchester United passed up a series of golden opportunities but ultimately saw off fellow strugglers Tranmere Rovers to ensure their first home Sky Bet League Two victory of the season.

The clubs were placed in twenty-first and twenty-second place respectively ahead of this JobServe Community Stadium clash, each with a single win to their name from their opening matches. But it was the U’s who looked much the better throughout, recording twenty-seven shots and seven on-target during a largely one-sided contest.

Dan Pike’s superb challenge denied Samson Tovide an early opener from the U’s following a slick break down the right flank, while Noah Chilvers tried his luck as the home side started brightly. It came as little surprise when they took the lead in the eleventh minute. Joe Taylor cooly netted his fifth of the season for the U’s. His first touch was heavy, but the recovery and finish were class from a player in form.

Owen Goodman dealt with Pike’s fierce attempt to preserve Colchester’s lead. Meanwhile, Jayden Fevrier fired over the bar after skipping past several desperate Tranmere challenges and Luke McGee saved from Chilvers as the tenacious U’s midfielder bore down on goal.

Though their football was encouraging, the home side was wasteful in attempts to double their advantage. McGee somehow diverted Mandela Egbo’s close-range attempt away, then used his feet to thwart Fevrier as the home side continued to ask almost all the questions. Tovide almost profited from McGee’s poor goal kick but could only find the side netting. Late in the half, the same player was a whisker away after cutting into his right foot. However, Regan Hendry was close to a leveller as the visitors finally awoke from their first-half slumber.

Perhaps due to the intense heat, exchanges were somewhat sluggish after the restart. Cameron McGeegham nodded directly at McGee. Then the Rovers stopper did well to palm out strikes from Taylor and Tovide.

Charlie Jolley should have restored parity, but the Rovers substitute fired wide after seizing on a mistake from Egbo. Meanwhile, McGee was again in the thick of it, denying Taylor with an outstretched boot.

Colchester’s advantage remained vulnerable. Arthur Read was forced out of the action and replaced by Mauro Bandeira after appearing to land awkwardly. Nevertheless, the hosts continued to dominate. This time, Al-Amin Kazeem fizzed across the goal after racing down the right.

But with three minutes to go, Colchester sealed the deal. Substitute Brad Ihionvien was on hand to convert from close range after John Akinde’s initial attempt had looped up.

A staggering eleven minutes were added by erratic referee Declan Bourne, topping the eight extras he had found at the end of the first half. Goodman, who had been a mere spectator for much of the contest, did well to divert Josh Hawks’ glancing header behind.

Colchester United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday, September 16 when Mansfield Town visits the JobServe Community Stadium (3pm).

Colchester United: Goodman, Hall, Tovide (Ihionvien 83’), Chilvers, McGeehan (Mingi 56’), Mitchell, Read (Bandeira 71’), Egbo, Taylor (Akinde 83’), Kazeem (Greenidge 83’), Fevrier Subs not used: Smith, Thomas

Booked: Taylor 11′, Ihionvien 87′
Goals: Hall (time-wasting), Tovide (time-wasting)

Tranmere Rovers: McGee, Davies, Turnbull, Morris (Apter 90+2′), Hendry (Hawkes 71’), Dennis (McAlear 55’), Merrie Jennings, Taylor (Wood 71’), Yarney, Pike (Jolley 55’) Subs not used: Walker, Murphy

Booked: Davies (foul), Pike (foul), Hendry (foul), Jennings (foul)
Goals: None

Referee: Declan Bourne
Assistants: Jacob Lehane and Christopher Wade
Fourth Official: Alan Cresswell

Attendance: 3,474 (185 from Tranmere Rovers)

Brian Jeeves