Bent double-act too good for plucky U's

DARREN Bent and his namesake, Marcus, continued their pre-season scoring spree as Town eventually tamed plucky Second Division hosts Colchester.A 3,746 crowd at Layer Road saw the U's impose themselves for much of the first hour, but the Blues' extra quality began to shine through as the game went on.

By Dave Allard

DARREN Bent and his namesake, Marcus, continued their pre-season scoring spree as Town eventually tamed plucky Second Division hosts Colchester.

A 3,746 crowd at Layer Road saw the U's impose themselves for much of the first hour, but the Blues' extra quality began to shine through as the game went on.

Town stayed with their pre-season 4-3-3 formation over the majority of the match before switching back to 4-4-2 on an afternoon when both sides gained much from the encounter.


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Central defender Drissa Diallo, signed on a free transfer from Burnley, showed his quality to the large following of visiting fans while Georges Santos, with Town on a temporary contract, did well alongside him in the first half before impressing as the midfield anchorman after the break.

With Jim Magilton starting on the bench, Chris Makin skippered the Blues and they had to withstand plenty of United pressure in the opening period.

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The first real Town threat came when Darren Bent cut in from the right to get in a low shot that was well blocked by home keeper Richard McKinney in the 27th minute.

Scott McGleish was just off target for Colchester soon after and five minutes from the interval a slip-up by Santos almost let in the Essex side. The former Tranmere, Sheffield United and Grimsby man left his back pass short and Diallo had to make a superb saving tackle to halt McGleish.

Town took the lead somewhat against the run of play after 56 minutes when Marcus Bent scored his fifth pre-season goal. The ex-Blackburn man picked his spot magnificently from a wide angle after Darren Bent had gone in on McKinney to make the ball run loose.

Darren Bent himself made it 2-0 after 73 minutes when he rounded McKinney to convert after a slide-rule pass by Pablo Counago.

Young Ipswich keeper Lewis Price enhanced his reputation in this friendly game and in the 79th minute he touched a shot from Joe Keith over the bar.

Just before the end, Darren Bent got his sixth pre-season goal when he got the all important touch to prod past McKinney after a bad back-pass by Pat Baldwin.

Town continued their winning build-up to the new season with the triumph at Layer Road coming on top of three wins in Scandinavia.

For Colchester it was a successful day despite the defeat. The attendance of 3,746 was a healthy one on an afternoon when neighbouring clubs renewed their rivalry in the right spirit.

The teams

COLCHESTER: McKinney, Stockley (Halford 82), A White, Baldwin, Myers (J White 70), Duguid, Izzet, Pinault, Keith, McGleish (Coote 75), Andrews (Campbell 70). Unused subs: Boot, Bowry, Saunders, Hadland, Brown.

IPSWICH: Price, Wilnis, Makin (Richards 66), Santos, Diallo, Westlake (Naylor 45), Murray (Magilton 45), Miller (Wright 57), Counago, M Bent (Reuser 57), D Bent. Unused subs: Armstrong, Bowditch, Collins.

Referee: Mr P Crossley.

Attendance: 3,746.

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