Yellow Sport has provided me with numerous wonderful opportunities to cover classic matches and speak to famous personalities. However, the pressbox environment has also offered my children the chance to sample sport from a different angle.
Back in February 2017, my son Alfie joined me at the JobServe Community Stadium for Colchester United’s Sky Bet League Two encounter with Wycombe Wanderers.
Both clubs have been particularly supportive of me but on this occasion, they handed the mic to Alf so he could quiz Chairboys legendary striker Adebayo ‘The Beast’ Akinfenwa about his Wembley play-off final penalty during his AFC Wimbledon days…
(Thanks to Wycombe Wanderers, Colchester United, George Haberman and Matt Cecil)
(Tuesday, February 21, 2017 – Sky Bet League Two)
Colchester United: Elokobi thunderbolt stuns Wycombe
Colchester United 1-0 Wycombe Wanderers
GEORGE Elokobi’s brilliant twelfth-minute strike earned Colchester United three priceless Sky Bet League Two points, ending their recent barren run and rekindling their hopes of a top-seven place, come the end of the campaign.
Injury-hit U’s went into the match off the back of successive defeats at the hands of disappointing Crawley Town and Accrington Stanley. And with games fast running out it was clear that a return to winning ways was a must in the north Essex side were to sustain any lingering hopes of reaching the play-offs.
Visitors Wycombe had also been somewhat off-colour of late. The Chairboys epic FA Cup exploits, which had been brought to its conclusion in dramatic circumstances at Tottenham, had had a knock-on effect towards the Buckinghamshire side’s league form. Indeed, Gareth Ainsworth’s side had lost four of their five League Two outings since the White Hart Lane tie, a run that had seen them slip away from the automatic promotion places.
Alex Jakubiak fired at U’s goalkeeper, Sam Walker, while Brennan Dickenson’s angled strike was a whisker away as the sides exchanged early opportunities. But with their next meaningful effort at goal, the U’s grabbed the lead. The most unlikely of scorers, George Elokobi, let fly from thirty-yards, giving Chairboys keeper, Jamal Blackman, no chance, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Wycombe looked for a quick response, but Walker moved swiftly to punch away Paris Cowan-Hall’s driven centre, then the U’s stopper tipped over Adebayo Akinfenwa’s shot on the turn from close range as the visitors probed menacingly.
The visitors continued to press. Jakubiak wasn’t far away with an angled strike that drifted just the wrong side of an upright, while Walker had to be on his metal after the same man had cause problems from the left flank.
Just before the break, Akinfenwa should perhaps have done better, firing over from twelve yards, but that aside, the home side answered any questions asked of them during a competitive opening period.
And it was Wycombe who continued to create after the interval. Walker smartly saved Akinfenwa’s stooping header goalwards, while Cowan-Hall was frustratingly wayward. Soon after, Elokobi brilliantly cleared his lines as Cowan-Hall looked set to level the contest.
Colchester were now hanging on. Walker superbly saved from Akinfenwa at the foot of a post. Meanwhile, Kurtis Guthrie’s snapshot was turned away by Blackman as Colchester looked to double their advantage on the break.
Owen Garvan wasn’t far away on a couple of occasions as the U’s steadied the ship. Indeed, the home side were now beginning to look the more likely to add to their account as the game reached its final stages.
Joe Jacobson nodded off the line after Guthrie’s header looked set to seal the points, while Anthony Stewart fired over as Wycombe produced a late rally in a bid to salvage something from the match.
Jacobson, perhaps somewhat, unfortunately, was shown a second yellow card by referee Trevor Kettle, as Wycombe’s evening began to disintegrate even further.
This victory lifted Colchester into seventh place in the division. The U’s
are next in Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday, February 25 when Hartlepool United are the visitors to the Weston Homes Community Stadium (3pm).
Colchester United: Sam Walker, Richard Brindley, Matt Briggs, Tom Lapslie, Chris Porter (Drey Wright 74’), Brennan Dickenson, George Elokobi, Owen Garvan, Sean Murray (Tarique Fosu 79’), Kurtis Guthrie, Cameron James Subs not used: Dillon Barnes (GK), Kane Vincent-Young, Alex Wynter, Rekeil Pyke, Charley Edge
Booked: Tom Lapslie (Foul)
Goals: George Elokobi 12’
Wycombe Wanderers: Jamal Blackman, Joe Jacobson, Anthony Stewart, Marcus Bean (Sam Wood 85’), Paris Cowan-Hall, Michael Harriman, Luke O’Nien, Adebayo Akinfenwa, Will De Havilland (Max Muller 46’), Alex Jakubiak (Garry Thompson 60’), Sam Saunders Subs not used: Barry Richardson (GK), Sido Jombati, Matthew Bloomfield, Dominic Gape
Booked: Will De Havilland (Foul), Joe Jacobson (Foul)
Referee: T. Kettle
Assistants: M. George and D Robathan
Fourth Official: N Cooper
Attendance: 3,031 (275 from Wycombe)