Colchester crush Carlisle

COLCHESTER United finally recorded their first ever win at their new Weston Homes Community Stadium, at the seventh time of asking.

Carl Marston

Colchester United 5 Carlisle United 0

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United finally recorded their first ever win at their new Weston Homes Community Stadium, at the seventh time of asking. And they did it in style!

Paul Lambert's men out-classed visiting Carlisle United from the very first whistle. They played at a very high tempo and never gave the Cumbrians time to settle.

The U's had virtually won this game by about the half-hour mark, by which time they were 3-0 up and coasting.

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Mark Yeates set up the first and scored the next two goals himself, thanks to another marvellous cameo role. But this was a real team performance from the U's.

Carlisle keeper Ben Alnwick had a nightmare in the first-half. He could only parry Yeates' third minute cross, from which David Perkins drilled United into the lead.

A swerving shot from Yeates, which might have taken a deflection, left Alnwick wrong-footed and the U's two-up by 14 minutes. And the Dubliner then benefited from a terrible mix-up at the back to slide past an exposed Alnwick for the third in the 32nd minute.

Two goals right at the death rubbed salt into the wounds for the sad Cumbrians. Dean Hammond rammed home his fourth goal of the club in the 89th minute, and Sunday-Akanni Wasiu also netted a minute later to make it a dream afternoon for the U's.

The U's welcomed back two experienced players to the starting line-up, with Steven Gillespie and Chris Coyne enjoying recalls.

Gillespie shrugged off a hamstring problem to start up front alongside Clive Platt, while Coyne replaced the injured Paul Reid, who was suffering from a toe injury.

And it took the U's just three minutes to break the deadlock, thanks to some inspiration from Yeates and a clinical finish from PERKINS.

Yeates caused mayhem down the right edge of the penalty area. His first cross was half-cleared, but he bemused his marker again with another mazy run which left two defenders lying on the deck.

Keeper Alnwick could only parry Yeates' fiercely-struck cross, and the onrushing Perkins made no mistake by slotting the rebound into the roof of the net from eight yards out.

It was an electric start from Colchester, and star man YEATES doubled the tally with his fifth goal of the season on 14 minutes.

There was a casualty in the build-up to this goal, because Gillespie aggravated his hamstring injury while keeping the ball in play with a hasty back-heel.

That was Gillespie's last contribution to the game, but his intervention still led to the goal. While the U's striker was feeling his hamstring on the sidelines, Yeates controlled John White's lay-off and tried his luck with a shot that swerved viciously past Alnwick.

The Cumbrians keeper was completely wrong-footed by this shot out-of-the-blue from the on-fire Dubliner.

There was no surprise when Gillespie hobbled off straight after this goal, to be replaced up front by substitute Sunday Wasiu in the 16th minute.

Conceding the second goal forced Carlisle to start attacking, although that led to more chances for the U's.

Alnwick nearly walked back over his goal-line when catching Yeates' free-kick on 19 minutes, and he had trouble stopping another Yeates' free-kick in the 27th minute. He scooped up at the second attempt.

And Alnwick did not cover himself in glory as Colchester went 3-0 up in the 32nd minute, with YEATES celebrating his second goal of the match.

The Cumbrians keeper put his side under pressure with a needless throw-out. Graham Kavanagh and Darren Campion got in each other's way and the ricochet fell for Yeates, who took his time before cheekily sweeping the ball past Alnwick from close-range.

Carlisle had offered very little during the first half, with keeper Dean Gerken hardly troubled. The U's were applauded off the pitch at half-time.

Half-time: Colchester United 3 Carlisle United 0

The Cumbrians made a change at half-time with Jeff Smith replacing Luke Joyce in central midfield. And it was not long before they made another switch, with striker Gary Madine on for winger Simon Hackney in the 58th minute.

A minute later and Clive Platt should have made it 4-0. Wasiu's initial shot was blocked, and Platt smashed the rebound over the top form 10 yards out.

Carlisle finally came close to scoring themselves in the 64th minute. Gerken performed heroics to divert Graham Kavanagh's free-kick around his post, and from the following corner, Kem Izzet cleared a close-range shot from defender Danny Livesey off the goal-line.

Platt was again close to scoring in the 71st minute. Coyne beat keeper Alnwick in the air to Yeates' corner, and Platt's follow-up header was goal-bound until a defender cleared off the line.

No doubt with Tuesday night's visit to Northampton in mind, U's boss Lambert made a couple of late changes. He withdrew the hard-working duo of Platt and Yeates, with Scott Vernon and Anthony Wordsworth on as substitutes.

HAMMOND celebrated his first goal for the club in the 89th minute. The ex-Brighton midfielder calmly fired home a 12-yard shot following an excellent lay-off from substitute Vernon.

And there was still time for WASIU to burst through onto Izzet's pass to make it 5-0 in the last minute.


COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken 7, White 7, Baldwin 8, Coyne 7, Jackson 7, YEATES 9 (sub Wordsworth, 83) Hammond 7, Izzet 8, Perkins 8, Platt (sub Vernon, 80) 7, Gillespie 7 (sub Wasiu, 16, 7). Unused subs: Heath, Cousins.

CARLISLE UNITED: Alnwick 5, Raven 6, Livesey 6, Gowling 6, Campion 6, Taylor 6, Joyce 5 (sub Smith, 46) KAVANAGH 7, Hackney 5 (sub Madine, 58), Graham 6, Dobie 6. Unused subs: Carlton, Horwood, Williams.

Referee: Mr K Friend (Leicestershire)

Attendance: 5,152

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