U’S SHOW THE SPIRIT TO SUR­VIVE

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Jon Wal­dron

COLCH­ESTER have made a habit of leav­ing it late to es­cape rel­e­ga­tion in re­cent years.

So, it was per­haps no sur­prise that they should launch such a spir­ited come­back at Fleet­wood, just when it looked as though their League One sta­tus was slip­ping away.

They trailed 2-1 with just 15 min­utes re­main­ing at High­bury Sta­dium.

But, with re­sults else­where go­ing against them and time run­ning out, two goals in as min­utes from Gavin Massey and Chris Porter helped them stage a dra­matic turn­around and leave the U's with a fight­ing chance of stay­ing up.

Boss Tony Humes said: “It shows what a tight-knit team and club we are, bat­tling for our lives.

“Ev­ery­one’s stick­ing to­gether and the play­ers didn’t give up.

“It was tough out there, but we got some­thing out of the game, which I thought we de­served.

“There are a lot of young play­ers who are af­fected by cer­tain knock­backs in games, but we re­cov­ered from the two goals we con­ceded and kept go­ing.

“Two young play­ers who came on, Ma­cauley Bonne and Dion Sem­bie-Fer­ris, played their part.

“What we’re do­ing in bring­ing young play­ers through is go­ing to be good for them in the long run.”

Massey, Porter and Ja­cob Mur­phy all went close for Colch­ester in the first half.

And, although Fleet­wood skip­per An­toni Sarce­vic’s header was hooked away by Tom East­man from near his own goal line, Colch­ester shaded the open­ing 45 min­utes.

The U’s went ahead less than two min­utes af­ter half-time.

Mur­phy’s su­perb run saw him ad­vance to­wards the Fleet­wood goal and pick out Mon­cur, who drilled past Chris Maxwell from close range.

But a dou­ble sub­sti­tu­tion just af­ter the hour helped Town get back into the game.

Jamie Proc­tor equalised from close range af­ter sub­sti­tute David Ball’s shot had been saved by Walker.

And Town went ahead with 16 min­utes re­main­ing through Ball. He raced on to Proc­tor’s pass and shrugged off Bongani Khu­malo be­fore fir­ing past Sam Walker. But, just when it looked like the U’s were down and out, they launched a spir­ited turn­around.

Massey equalised with five min­utes re­main­ing when his de­flected shot eluded Maxwell and flew in.Two min­utes later, sub­sti­tute Dion Sem­bie-Fer­ris was fouled by Nathan Pond in the area, al­low­ing Porter to slot home the re­sult­ing penalty and clinch a dra­matic victory for the Es­sex side.

Fleet­wood manager Gra­ham Alexander said: “We lost the game be­cause of poor de­ci­sions, both by the ref­eree and by us, in cer­tain in­stances.

“It wasn’t through lack of ef­fort and I can only think of one game where that’s hap­pened, in the cup against Cam­bridge.

“Apart from that, all of our play­ers have al­ways been at it and I’ve never been neg­a­tive on that side of it.

“We know ,there are places we need to im­prove and it hurts to lose – I can’t hide that.

“But there’s a pos­i­tive over­all feel­ing about the sea­son and there’s still a game to go where we can fin­ish on a high.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

U’S THE MAN: Chris Porter is con­grat­u­lated by Colch­ester United team­mate Ge­orge Mon­cur af­ter scor­ing the win­ner

ROCKET: Gavin Massey fires home

STAR MAN DAVID FOX Colche

ster

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