U’s and Town serve up a six-goal thriller

Colchester United v Ipswich Town – Friendly Match – JobServe Community Stadium – Report

Colchester United 3-3 Ipswich Town

Colchester United and Ipswich Town shared the spoils in a ridiculously entertaining pre-season encounter at the JobServe Community Stadium. 

With local pride at stake and perhaps a few points to be proved, the tempo was somewhat upbeat in comparison to a run of the mill warm-up fixture. Freddie Sears was too high, while the busy Armando Dobra saw his attempt deflected over as the sides exchanged early opportunities. However, Town were ahead with their next meaningful foray forward.

Dobra and former U’s frontman, Macaulay Bonne combined – Joe Piggott – recruited from AFC Wimbledon – on hand to sweep beyond Dean Gerken from close range.

Alan Judge tested Tomas Holy in the Ipswich goal with a vicious effort from distance, while Luke Woolfenden was forced to kick off the line from Brendan Wiredu as Colchester pressed. But from the resulting flag-kick, another of Colchester’s ‘Ipswich connection’ Tommy Smith arrived unmarked to powerfully head the Essex side back on terms.

But the U’s joy was short-lived. Bonne met Scott Fraser’s pinpoint free-kick, directing his head low into the net, much to the delight of the sizable following from Suffolk.

The end-to-end nature of the contest continued. Frank Nouble was instrumental in the U’s dash clear of relegation last season. This time, the former West Ham United striker provided a neat flick-header to deceive Holy from Judge’s dead-ball – U’s back on terms three minutes before the interval.

Goal! Frank Nouble (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

The usual deluge of substitutes didn’t upset the rhythm of the game. Indeed, it was Colchester – rumbustious and inquisitive – who snatched the lead midway through the second period.

Judge had been a thorn in the side of his former employers all evening and when Holy was caught in no man’s land the one-time Republic of Ireland midfielder exquisitely found the net from all of forty yards.  

But with time running out it was Ipswich who had the last word in a truly memorable evening. Wes Burns fizzing free-kick eluded substitute stopper, Harrison and squeezed in off the underside of the bar.

Colchester United return to action on Saturday, July 31 when they take on Vanarama National League Wealdstone at the Grosvenor Vale Stadium (3pm).

Colchester United: Dean Gerken, Ryan Clampin, Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith, Brendan Wiredu, Frank Nouble, Alan Judge, Freddie Sears, Noah Chilvers, Tom Eastman, Cameron Coxe

Colchester United substitutes: Trialist F, Cole Skuse, Andre Hasanally, Donnell Thomas, Samson Tovide, Frankie Terry, Sam Cornish, Harry Beadle, Trialist C, Trialist E

Booked: None

Goals: Tommy Smith 27’, Frank Nouble 42’, Alan Judge 70’

Ipswich Town: Tomas Holy, Janoi Donacien, Matt Penny, Luke Woolfenden, Corrie Ndaba, Cameron Humphreys, Amando Dobra, Rekeem Harper, Joe Piggott, Macauley Bonne, Scott Fraser

Ipswich Town substitutes: Kane Vincent-Young, Vaclav Hladky, Aristote Nsiala, Fraser Alexander, Matt Healy, James Norwood, Kayden Jackson, Wes Burns, Bailey Clements

Booked: None

Goals: Joe Pigott 6’, Macauley Bonne 30’, Wes Burns 87’

Referee: D Rock

Assistants: S Finch and G Byrne

Assistants: A Byrne