This time Spurs hold their nerve as Colchester’s luck from the spot runs out

Brian Jeeves

Full-time at the JobServe Community Stadium: Colchester United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur under 21 (Spurs won 6-5 on penalties)

COLCHESTER UNITED passed up an opportunity to seal their Trophy progress after Tottenham’s under 21 side succeeded were their first team had failed by winning a penalty shootout at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Having dramatically dispatched Tottenham’s senior side from the Carabao Cup, Colchester went into the game eyeing up a unique double over the North Londoners.

The U’s started with five of the side which featured in that historic triumph two weeks previous. However, whereas a sold out audience witnessed a piece of U’s cup history, this time a crowd numbering just over a thousand were present to see the sides do battle in an altogether more low-key event.

Kwame Poku and Luke Norris saw efforts blocked, while the latter was too high with a speculative dead-ball attempt and saw another strike deflected behind as Colchester made the early running. Meanwhile, Rodel Richards raced clear but was thwarted by Omar Sowunmi – the U’s defender hooking off the line after the Spurs man had shown the hosts rearguard a clean pair of heels. Then Ethan Ross saved from Malachi Fagan-Walcott – the U’s stopper requiring treatment as the ball fizzed into his face as he advanced swiftly from his goal.

But shortly before the interval, Colchester snatched the lead. Norris arrived unmarked, firmly heading Ryan Clampin’s pinpoint centre beyond Spurs keeper, Jonathan De Bie, and Fagan-Walcott, whose attempt to clear was fruitless.

Jevani Brown fired over as Colchester looked to kill the contest after the break. But it was Spurs who were to hit back – Ross perhaps should have done better after getting a big hand to Tashan Oakley-Boothe’s angled right-footed strike. However, the U’s keeper was unable to prevent the 19-year-old restoring parity.

Spurs pressed in the final stages, while Tom Eastman was unable to direct goalwards as Colchester looked to clinch it in stoppage-time. But once again it was to be a penalty shootout to separate the sides.

Brandon Comley’s kick – the sixteenth of the evening – was the wrong side of an upright – handing Tottenham a Group ‘A’ bonus point and with Ipswich Town hammering Gillingham in the other tie – leaving Colchester’s qualification ambitions in the balance.

Colchester United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday, October 12 when they take on Crawley Town at the People’s Pension Stadium (3pm).

Colchester United: Ethan Ross, Tom Lapslie (Brandon Comley 68’), Omar Sowunmi, Courtney Senior Luke Norris, Jevani Brown, Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu (Ryan Jackson 75’), Tom Eastman, Ryan Clampin, Noah Chilvers, Kwame Poku (Theo Robinson 79’) Subs not used: Bailey Vose, Ollie Kensdale, Louis Dunne, Ben Stevenson

Booked: Luke Norris (foul)
Goals: Luke Norris 44’

Tottenham Hotspur under 21’s: Jonathan De Bie, Timothy Eyoma, Tariq Hinds, Jamie Bowden (Pheonix Patterson 66’), Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Luis Binks, Tashan Oakley-Boothe, Harvey White, Rodel Richards (Kion Etete 88’), Armando Shashoua, Shilow Tracey (Dilan Markanday 75’) Subs not used: Rayan Clarke, Joshua Oluwayemi, Brooklyn Lyon-Foster, Maurizio Pochettino, Kion Etete

Booked: Malachi Fagan-Walcott (foul)
Goals: Tashan Oakley-Boothe 75’

Referee: Alan Young
Assistants: Garry Maskell and Oliver Jackson
Fourth Official: Gareth Viccars

Attendance: 1,061 (122 from Tottenham)

Brian Jeeves