U’s slip to late Gills strike

Colchester United v Gillingham – Papa John’s Trophy – JobServe Community Stadium – Report

Colchester United 0-1 Gillingham

Colchester United began their Papa John’s Trophy campaign with a last-gasp defeat at the hands of Gillingham at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Hayden Mullins took the opportunity to shuffle the pack, although following a weekend of inactivity offered minutes to those most in need ahead of Friday’s Sky Bet League Two trip to Barrow.

Visitors’ Gillingham included former Southend United frontman, Charlie Kelman in their starting eleven – the Basildon-born 19-year-old linking up with the Kent outfit on a season-long loan deal from Queen’s Park Rangers.

Colchester enjoyed slightly the better of an otherwise instantly forgettable opening period.

Noah Chilvers forced Gills stopper, Aaron Chapman, into a flying save – The midfielders whipped dead-ball effort causing concern with the games first clear-cut chance. Meanwhile, the U’s most recent recruit, Armando Dobra was thwarted by Champman – the keeper using his feet to good effect after the Ipswich loanee had skipped clear.

Sylvester Jasper clipped the outside of an upright, while Alan Judge fired wide after the busy Dobra fashioned an opening – The home side continued to look the more likely after the restart. Alex MacDonald tested Jake Turner as the Gills finally offered a threat of their own.

Stuart O’Keefe was a whisker away, while Turner saved from Daniel Phillips and Kelman fired into the side netting – Gillingham now gathering a head of steam.

Indeed, the Gills were now producing the more fluent football. Reeves somehow scuffed wide after Kelman had teed him up. Soon after, Turner was at full stretch, brilliantly turning over Kelman’s goalbound header.

And in stoppage-time, Gillingham made the breakthrough. Robbie McKenzie beat Turner with a neat, side-footed finish – Mustapha Carayol creating the opening with trickery down the left.

Colchester United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Friday, September 10 when they face Barrow AFC at Holker Street (7:45pm).

Colchester United: Jake Turner, Harry Beadle, Brendan Wiredu (Alan Judge 46’), Frank Nouble (Freddie Sears 46’), Noah Chilvers, Sylvester Jasper (Luke Hannant 64’), Tom Eastman, Armando Dobra, Gene Kennedy, Junior Tchamadeu, Cameron Coxe Subs not used: Shamal George, Al-Amin Kazeem, Samson Tovide

Booked: Gene Kennedy (foul)
Goals: None

Gillingham: Aaron Chapman, Davis Tutonda, Stuart O’Keefe, Max Ehmer, Jack Tucker, Alex MacDonald (Mustapha Carayol 82’), Charlie Kelman, Robbie McKenzie, Danny Lloyd (Gerald Sithole 86’), Daniel Phillips, Harvey Lintott (Ben Reeves 46’) Subs not used: Jamie Cummong, Rhys Bennett, Daniel Adshead, Bailey Akehurst

Booked: Harvey Lintott (foul), Stuart O’Keefe (dissent), Alex MacDonald (foul)
Goals: Robbie McKenzie 90+3′

Referee: Brett Huxtable
Assistants: Michael Chard and Mark Stevens
Fourth Official: Leigh Crowhurst

Brian Jeeves

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