U’s snatch a point after late spot-kick drama

Brian Jeeves

Colchester United v Mansfield Town – Sky Bet League Two – JobServe Community Stadium – Report

Colchester United 1-1 Mansfield Town

Colchester United salvaged an unlikely Sky Bet League Two point after a Freddie Sears penalty four minutes into stoppage-time denied impressive Mansfield Town at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Hayden Mullins made two changes to the side which had started Saturday’s frustrating defeat at the hands of Northampton Town. Skipper, Tommy Smith picked up a knock was replaced by Cole Skuse, while fans favourite, Noah Chilvers was prefered to Sylvester Jasper – the Fulham loanee surprisingly quiet during the weekend setback.

Shamal George saved at the feet of Danny Johnson, having awkwardly scooped away Ollie Clarke’s initial attempt from distance. Soon after, Clarke saw another effort rebuffed, while Stephen McLaughlin was off target as the visitors’ enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges.

George was again called into action, superbly denying Johnson at his near post, while Stephen Quinn’s volley was deflected behind as Mansfield continued to ask all the questions. Meanwhile, Mullins was provided with further cause for concern when Tom Eastman limped out of the action to be replaced by Cameron Coxe.

Frank Nouble scuffed horribly over after a swift raid down the right, while Luke Hannant warmed the palms of Stags stopper Nathan Bishop as the U’s finally provided a threat of their own.

George again thwarted former Leyton Orient man Johnson as the pair continued their duel after the interval. The U’s keeper then clung on to Rhys Oates’ deflected effort, while Johnson was off target as the traffic remained largely one way.

Colchester United goalkeeper Shamal George made a string of fine saves to keep his side in the match against Mansfield Town at the JobServe Community Stadium (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

It was painfully obvious that a Mansfield goal was coming. Elliott Hewitt provided it, firmly heading beyond George after Stephen Quinn had picked him out with a delightful ball in from the left.

Similarly to Saturday, Colchester huffed and puffed, but ultimately lacked ideas and intent. U’s newest recruit, Charlie Daniels fired directly into Bishop’s arms in stoppage-time. But then a lifeline – McLaughlin was clumsy on Nouble – Sears ramming home the resulting spot-kick despite the valiant efforts of the Stags number one.

Colchester United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday, August 21 when they take on Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park (3pm).

Colchester United: Shamal George, Miles Welch-Hayes, Ryan Clampin (Charlie Daniels 60’), Luke Chambers, Luke Hannant (Sylvester Jasper 74’), Cole Skuse, Frank Nouble, Alan Judge, Freddie Sears, Noah Chilvers, Tom Eastman (Cameron Coxe 35’) Subs not used: Jake Turner (GK), Brendan Wiredu, Samson Tovide, Harry Beadle

Booked: Cole Skuse (foul)
Goals: Freddie Sears (penalty) 90+4’

Mansfield Town: Nathan Bishop, Stephen McLaughlin, Elliott Hewitt, Farrend Rawson, Ollie Clarke, George Maris, Danny Johnson (Ollie Hawkins 82’), James Perch, Stephen Quinn, Rhys Oates (Jordan Bowery 87’), George Lapslie (Ryan Stirk 79’) Subs not used: Kellan Gordon, George Shelvey, Ryan Burke, Tyrese Sinclair

Booked: Elliott Hewitt 72’
Goals: Stephen Quinn (foul), James Perch (foul)

Referee: Sam Allison
Assistants: Andy Bennett and Stuart Butler
Fourth Official: Michael Begley

Attendance: 2,354 (224 from Mansfield Town)

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk