Another gutsy away draw for U's

Swindon Town 1 Colchester United 1COLCHESTER United secured their second successive draw under new manager Aidy Boothroyd, thanks to another battling away performance at Swindon this afternoon.

Carl Marston

Swindon Town 1 Colchester United 1

COLCHESTER United secured their second successive draw under new manager Aidy Boothroyd, thanks to another battling away performance at Swindon this afternoon.

Ashley Vincent gave Colchester the lead in the 21st minute, with ironically his last touch of the ball. Vincent pounced onto Kevin Lisbie's flick and managed to squeeze the ball over keeper Phil Smith and into an unguarded net.

However, the U's winger was injured while engineering that finish, and so was helped off the pitch initially on a stretcher, suffering from what looked like an ankle injury.

The Robins equalised on the stroke of half-time, through a deadly finish by Temitope Obadeyi after the U's defence had been over-stretched by a break-a-way. Alex Revell also hit the bar from long range early in the second half.

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Swindon looked the more likely side to grab a winner during the second half, although the U's finished the stronger. So it's now two away draws from Boothroyd's first two matches in charge.

Clive Platt nearly broke the deadlock inside the first minute. Vincent sped past left-back Lecsinel Jean-Francois and floated over a teasing cross to the far post, where Platt nodded narrowly wide from close in.

Swindon, who were one place and one point above the U's before kick-off, were operating with just one striker, Alex Revell, in a 4-3-2-1 formation.

Anthony Wordsworth, who was playing in central midfield, was booked for dragging back winger Obadeyi on 10 minutes. Revell nodded wide from the ensuing free-kick.

Town keeper Smith was only playing because No. 1 choice David Lucas had injured himself in the warm-up. And Smith made a meal of dealing with Marc Tierney's cross from a free kick in the 17th minute, only to recover to block the follow-up shot from Vincent.

Four minutes later and the U's were ahead, thanks to VINCENT's second goal of the season.

It was a scrappy goal, and yet well-worked. Platt flicked on Williams' long kick upfield and Lisbie managed to nod the ball down into the path of Vincent, who was able to scoop his shot over stranded keeper Smith from eight yards out. The ball rolled slowly into an unguarded net.

Vincent did not have a chance to celebrate the goal, because he was injured in executing the finish.

In fact, that was Vincent's last piece of action. He was stretchered off the pitch, after some lengthy treatment, but was at least able to hobble off to the dressing room.

Boothroyd opted to replace Vincent with substitute Jamie Guy, so handing the striker his first appearance for the U's since February. He was given Vincent's role down the right flank.

Ben Williams denied the Robins a likely equaliser in the 39th minute. Matt Heath's clearance rolled into the path of Jon-Paul MvGovern, who let fly first-time with a rasping shot that Williams did well to beat away. It was an instinct save.

A minute later and Heath came to the U's rescue. Obadeyi latched onto Simon Ferry's pass and whipped over a low cross which Heath managed to divert past his own post, while at full stretch.

Substitute Guy went close to doubling the lead in the 44th minute. He scurried onto Platt's knock-down and shrugged off the attentions of a defender, before cracking in a shot that keeper Smith blocked in front of his near post.

But Swindon drew level in first-half stoppage time. A U's attack broke down inside the Robins' box, and suddenly the visitors were over-stretched as Hutchinson ran half the length of the pitch.

Hutchinson took his time before sliding his pass through for an unmarked OBADEYI, who gave Williams no chance with a thumping shot from 15 yards out.

It had been an entertaining first half, and John-Joe O'Toole tried his luck from 25 yards out, in the fourth and final minute of injury-time. Smith palmed the ball above his head before catching the rebound under his bar.

Half-time: Swindon Town 1 Colchester United 1

Only the woodwork denied Swindon the lead on 54 minutes. Revell let rip with a 30-yard shot that cannoned back off the bar. Keeper Williams, who might have got the faintest of touches to the shot, was in the right place to cling onto the rebound.

Seconds later and the U's were threatening at the other end. Lisbie was put through by Wordsworth's pass, but his first touch was poor and his final shot was blocked by keeper Smith.

Heath was having a good game at the heart of defence, and he intervened with a marvellous last ditch tackle to deny Revell a clear shot on goal.

Substitute Guy was then substituted himself on 65 minutes, as Boothroyd took steps to strengthen his central midfield with the introduction of David Fox.

The U's mounted a rare break on 85 minutes, with Simon Hackney racing onto O'Toole's flick. However, the left winger lifted his shot over the bar.

O'Toole also headed over late on as the U's finished strongly.


SWINDON TOWN: Smith 6, Amankwaah 8, Greer 7, Cuthbert 7, Jean-Francois 6, Obadeyi 7, McGovern 6, Douglas 7, Ferry 7 (sub Timlin, 81), Hutchinson 7 (sub McNamee, 62), REVELL 8 (sub Paynter, 74). Unused subs: Easton, Morrison, Macklin.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Williams 7, White 8, Okuonghae 8, HEATH 8, Tierney 7, Vincent 7 (sub Guy, 24, sub Fox 65), O'Toole 7, Wordsworth 6, Hackney 6, Platt 7, Lisbie 6 (sub Vernon, 77). Unused subs: Gillespie, Lockwood, Ifil, Cousins.

Referee: Mr Karl Evans (Lancashire)

Attendance: 6,621

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