U’S SHOW THE SPIRIT TO SURVIVE
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.”
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