MISSION COMPLETE AS BOND SEALS IT
JOE DUNNE was left beaming at mission impossible as Colchester completed a smash and grab raid at Gillingham to steal all three points just two minutes from time through Andrew Bond.
Bond settled the contest after fellow substitute Drey Wright’s short pass as the Gills suffered a losing start to their return to League One.
U’s boss Dunne, who started his playing career at Gillingham, said:“It’s a difficult place to come and we knew that it would be a hard.
“Gillingham is a good club with good fans but I thought we did a job and we were tremendous – everyone played to their limit.
“We had to defend a lot from throws and set plays into the box but I thought that we deserved our win and I’m very pleased with how we went about our business.
“We analysed every goal they scored last year and long throws and corners were defended well against them.
“We used our substitutes wisely and we had a plan and stuck to it.
“We had to be resilient at times and you have to earn the right to play in any game that you play.
“We had to scrap at times but the goal looked like it was coming and we managed to get in behind their back four.
“It’s a good win for us but it’s only the first game and we’ll be back in this morning, getting ready for the Peterborough United cup tie on Tuesday night.”
Gillingham striker Danny Kedwell went close in the opening stages with a first-time snap shot in an even first half.
Colchester forward Jabo Ibehre fired over from five yards from Freddie Sears’ cross before the Gills went even closer when Kedwell’s spectacular long-range effort was pushed onto the crossbar.
Sears then curled just wide for Colchester and Gills’ Charlie Lee steered a header past the post from Stephen Gregory’s cross, as an even battle ensued.
Lee went close again for Gillingham when Sam Walker denied him at the near post and Cody McDonald was denied by Brian Wilson’s last-ditch tackle in the area, in the opening minute of the second half.
Stuart Nelson pushed away Marcus Bean’s first-time shot on the hour but Gillingham looked more likely to break the deadlock, as the clock ticked down.
Myles Weston hooked over for the Gills from close range and the impressive Walker then made a fine double save to deny Chris Whelpdale and Amine Linganzi.
Joe Martin’s long-range attempt flashed inches wide before Bond slotted home from Wright’s pass with two minutes to go, to win it for Colchester.
And Martin Allen said: “I’m not sure we deserved to lose. Our lads need a bit of help so they can they believe in themselves and win games at this level.
“We lost a key player after four minutes. Matt Fish had a fantastic season last year – it’s his knee and he’ll have a scan on Monday.
“What a game for young Stephen Butcher to make his debut – I’m really proud of him.” To comment on this match go to http://boards.footymad.net/
IN THE NICK OF TIME: Andrew Bond scores late on for Colchester