SPURS SHOW NO MERCY
Chadli hits double after injury to two of the U’s defenders
COLCHESTER UNITED lost both centrehalves with less than 20 minutes gone and with them, boss Kevin Keen admitted, any chance of causing an FA Cup fourthround upset against Tottenham.
Taking on a high-flying Premier League side was always going to be a tall order for a team that has dropped to the bottom of the League One table, but it got even taller when Alex Wynter and Tom Eastman clashed heads inside the first two minutes as they both challenged for a ball with Spurs dangerman Harry Kane.
After a four-minute delay Wynter was carried away on a stretcher and taken to hospital, while Eastman went off for treatment and did come back briefly, head wrapped in bandages having had stitches in a wound, but he lasted only until the 20th minute.
Replacements Frankie Kent and Matt Briggs did what they could, but Colchester boss Keen’s game plan had been ripped to shreds by the double blow, and soon his team were too.
“How many times has that happened?” Keen wondered.
“You lose one like that, you make a substitution and play with ten men, then you lose another. You’re a League One team against a Premier League team and it’s a tough ask.
“I was disappointed because you work hard and set yourself up for the game. Alex and Tom have been two of our best players since I’ve been here, so to lose the two of them was disappointing. It was a tough day.
“Tottenham are a very good team. They have built a really young, technically good, athletic team which will hold them in good stead not just for this
season but the next two or three seasons.
“They will do well this year but more importantly their future is brighter than certain other big clubs in the league. I can see them winning one of the three competitions they are in.
“We gave it a go, and I have nothing but pride for the lads. It was a really gallant effort.”
Nacer Chadli took advantage of the defensive reshuffle in the 26th minute and picked his spot from 20 yards, bending a sweet strike away from Jake Kean’s dive and into the net.
Tottenham should have put the game to bed in the opening minute of the second period but Erik Lamela screwed wide from an angle, and they were almost made to pay when Colchester had their best chance of the game, but Darren Ambrose’s shot from the edge of the box was deflected away.
Chadli almost had his second on the hour, receiving Kane’s pass on the penalty spot but his turn and shot hit the bar. The Belgium international’s second was on its way, but not before Eric Dier had made it 2-0 just after the hour. From all of 30 yards the England man let fly and his shot took a wicked deflection, wrong-footing Kean.
Chadli’s second, stooping to head home Tom Carroll’s cross from the right at the near post, was followed almost instantly by a U’s consolation as Gavin Massey’s shot off the post rebounded in via Ben Davies.
Carroll then poked home off the underside of the bar from Chadli’s cross with eight minutes remaining to wrap things up.
It was a superior performance from a strong Spurs side, and manager Mauricio Pochettino said: “We needed to show a lot of respect for our opponents. We have a very strong squad. It’s very important to keep them all involved and that they are all a part of the success of the team.
“We have a lot of games ahead and we want to stay in all the competitions and go far. To do that you need to use all the squad. Our aim is the next game and to try to win. This is our mentality and we must try to keep this mentality.
“Playing the way that we played, I am very pleased. We are in the next round and this is the most important thing.”
ALL OVER: Tottenham’s Tom Carroll scores their fourth goal
HEROICS OVER: Nacer Chadli scores the first goal for Tottenham STAR MAN NACER CHADL