Gallery: Super-sub seals fine comeback injury

SUPER-SUB Kayode Odejayi's dramatic injury-time winner saw Colchester seal a fine comeback victory at the Weston Homes Community Stadium last night.

Stuart Watson

SUPER-SUB Kayode Odejayi's dramatic injury-time winner saw Colchester seal a fine comeback victory at the Weston Homes Community Stadium last night.

After Clive Platt's 61st minute far post header had cancelled out Ian Harte's first-half opener, the U's threw everything at the Cumbrians in search of a winner.

It looked like Colchester would have to make do with a point after Anthony Wordsworth hit the bar with a free-kick and Odejayi the post with a low shot.

But when fellow substitute Ian Henderson's overhead kick fell to Odejayi in the box late on he gleefully smashed home from close range after the linesman's flag stayed down.

With third-place Charlton held 1-1 at Walsall, it means the U's have closed the gap on Phil Parkinson's side to four points.

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U's boss Aidy Boothroyd made two changes to the side which lost 2-0 at Leeds last Saturday. New permanent signing David Prutton - who had been unavailable to play in that game - made his first start for Colchester, replacing Phil Ifil on the right of midfield.

Meanwhile, Kevin Lisbie, reported to be struggling with a back injury, dropped out of the squad altogether and was replaced by Steve Gillespie.

Carlisle handed a debut to striker Darryl Duffy after he signed on loan from Bristol Rovers on transfer deadline day.

The U's came closest to opening the scoring in the opening exchanges when, after seven minutes, Wordsworth did superbly to control Prutton's dink into the box before volleying over the bar.

That had been a difficult chance; however Wordsworth should have done better nine minutes later following a superb bit of vision from Kemi Izzet. The diminutive midfielder threaded an excellent ball to Wordsworth's feet in the box, but with the whole goal to aim at he scuffed his effort straight at the visiting keeper.

Not for the first time this season, following a promising start to a match, Colchester fell behind to a sucker punch. In the visitors' first real attack on goal, Graham Kavanagh lofted a 24th minute corner to the far post and Ian Harte, having lost marker Magnus Okuonghae, headed low into the bottom corner for his 10th goal of the season.

Carlisle improved after the goal and had a decent shout for a penalty turned down just before half-time when keeper Williams wiped out Duffy just as he chipped the ball wide. Bizarrely, with the visiting players surrounding the referee, a corner was given.

There was still time for Colchester to create one last chance before the interval when Gillespie raced forward down the left and cut a dangerous ball back into the box, however skipper Paul Thirlwell was there with a saving clearance.

The U's fans booed their side off at half-time and they became increasingly discontented following a scrappy start to the second half.

Boothroyd's decision to replace fans' favourite Gillespie with Kayode Odejayi just before the hour mark proved just as unpopular, but there were no complaints two minutes later when the replacement striker was at the heart of Colchester's equaliser.

Odejayi returned smart pass back to John-Joe O'Toole down the right side and he crossed for Clive Platt to head home emphatically at the far post.

Transformed by the goal, Colchester pressed forward looking for the lead, but twice they were denied by the woodwork.

First, after 64 minutes, Wordsworth hit the bar with a fine curling free-kick from the edge of the box which had looked destined for the top corner.

Then, six minutes later, Odejayi latched onto a long ball over the top, shrugged off the attentions of defender Danny Livesey before thumping the base of the near post from a narrow angle.

Colchester - spearheaded by Odejayi - continued to do all the attacking, but they were given a reminder of Carlisle's threat on the counter attack after 81 minutes when Livesey's long-range shot was turned away for a corner after bouncing up dangerously in front of Williams.

The Cumbrians almost snatched it themselves in injury time when debutant Duffy's snap shot skipped just past the post.

But it was the U's who won it deep into time added on when Ian Henderson's overhead kick fell kindly to Odejayi in the box and he gleefully slammed home as the visiting players appealed in vain for offside.

Colchester: Ben Williams 6, John White 6, Marc Tierney 7, Magnus Okuonghae (cpt) 7, Matt Heath 6, David Prutton 6 (Ian Henderson 67 - 6), Anthony Wordsworth 6, Kemi Izzet 7, John-Joe O'Toole 6, Clive Platt 7, Steven Gillespie 6 (Kayode Odejayi 59 - 8).

Unused Subs: Mark Cousins, David Fox, Danny Batth, Phil Ifil, Medy Elito.

Carlisle: Adam Collin 6, Richard Keogh 6, Evan Horwood 6, Danny Livesey 6, Ian Harte 7, Matt Robson 6, Adam Clayton 6, Paul Thirlwell (cpt) 7, Kevan Hurst 7 (Ben Marshall 79), Darryl Duffy 6, Graham Kavanagh 6 (Richard Offiong 73 - 6).

Unused Subs: Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, Peter Murphy, Tom Taiwo, Tony Kane, Lenny Pidgeley.

U's Man-of-the-Match: Kayode Odejayi.

Attendance: 3,903.

Referee: Mr G Sutton.

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