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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 3 Colchester United 2

19 January 2022

For the second successive game Sutton provided supporters with a thrilling finish as Will Randall's superb goal two minutes in to stoppage time clinched a victory that propelled the Surrey U's back in to the automatic promotion places, while keeping their Essex counterparts close to the foot of the table.

Just as they had done in the game at the Jobserve Community Stadium in October, Colchester struck early on, and this time after that goal had been cancelled out by Isaac Olaofe they led again just before half time thanks to a Freddie Sears penalty, but Olaofe again levelled midway through the second half and, after U's had pressed for the winner, Randall's low drive from the edge of the area sparked more scenes of celebration amongst the home supporters.

Colchester's fine start was sparked by Owura Edwards, the winger signed on Monday on loan from Bristol City, who took less than three minutes to announce himself to the supporters by coming out of a challenge with two Sutton players and sending in a skidding low shot from 25 yards which caught Dean Bouzanis wrongfooted. Worse might have followed for Sutton as Sears raced on to a long ball from Luke Hannant, but a slightly heavy touch gave Bouzanis the chance to come out and save, and U's were soon level. Colchester were a bit unfortunate as, in challenging Enzio Boldewijn, Emyr Huws sent the ball back in to his own penalty area and Omar Bugiel got there just before goalkeeper Jake Turner, who managed to divert Bugiel's shot on to the post but could do nothing to prevent Olaofe stabbing home the rebound (above).

Turner had to fly to his left to make one fine save to claw away a looping Olaofe header after Rob Milsom had headed his returned throw-in back in to the penalty area, and also held a low Randall shot, but just before half time Colchester were back in front. Some uncharacteristic defending saw both Joe Kizzi and Ben Goodliffe fail to clear a Sears cross after he had broken down the right, and when Hannant lifted the ball back across goal Sears' shot from the tightest of angles diverted wide off what seemed to be a combination of the outside of the post and Louis John's hand. Referee Rob Lewis took the advice of his assistant before pointing to the spot, and Sears sent Bouzanis the wrong way to restore Colchester's lead.

Despite the setback Sutton were on the front foot for most of the second half, with Colchester's only real threat when Sears almost capitalised on a poor header back to Bouzanis by John but miscued his shot wide. Milsom whipped one first time shot across goal, while there was frustration when the referee stopped play to book Sears for trying to block a Bouzanis clearance without noticing that Olaofe was racing clear on the right. 

It was the introduction of Richie Bennett just after the hour mark that proved decisive as, within a minute of coming on and with only his second touch he climbed at the far post to head the ball back across goal after a fine run and cross from Boldewijn, and Olaofe nodded in from close range.

Boldewijn, impressively replacing the injured David Ajiboye on the right wing, sent a low shot just wide from the edge of the penalty area before making way for Ricky Korboa, and Korboa came close when Bennett battled through on the left and sent in a low cross that Turner just managed to scramble away from Korboa in the six yard box.

The winner would come, though, with a contribution from the third substitute, Donovan Wilson, who first won a loose ball in midfield to earn a throw-in, then played Kizzi's throw in to the path of Ali Smith. He continued the right to left move to find Randall, who cut back inside across the face of the penalty area and drove a low shot inside Turner's left hand post. The celebrations after the goal were such that Bugiel was booked when he resumed his place on the substitute's bench, and it wasn't long before the supporters were celebrating again as the final whistle was blown.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, R Milsom, C Eastmond, B Goodliffe, L John, E Boldewijn(sub R Korboa 74), A Smith, O Bugiel(sub R Bennett 63), I Olaofe(sub D Wilson 76), W Randall. Subs n/u J Barden, B Wyatt, K Davis, S Nelson. Booked: Smith, Eastmond, Bugiel.

Colchester: J Turner, M Welch-Hayes, T Dallison, L Chambers, T Smith(sub T Eastman 90+1), B Wiredu, L Hannant,  C Skuse, O Edwards(sub F Nouble 72), E Huws, F Sears. Subs n/u D Gerken, A Judge, N Chilvers, C Andrews, C Coxe. Booked: Dallison, Sears, Huws, Smith.

Referee: Rob Lewis

Attendance: 2,532(282 away)


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