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Match Reports

Report: Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Colchester United

8 September 2018

James Norwood continued his goal scoring form with his seventh of the season in the 1-1 draw against Colchester United at Prenton Park. 

Colchester captain Harry Pell cancelled Norwood's first half opener meaning the teams share the points in an even game.

Before the game, Rovers had not conceded on home soil but knew this game would test their resolve given that their opponents were the league’s second most prolific team, sitting fourth before kick-off.

Rovers had the momentum for the majority of the first half amid the odd attack from the visitors. In the first ten minutes they could have scored three. James Norwood was within a whisker of latching onto a Connor Jennings cross, before Jonny Smith forced U’s keeper Dillon Barnes into diving low to his right to palm behind his low curling effort. Norwood did have the ball in the net, finishing a great lofted pass from Zoumana Bakayogo, but the former had drifted offside.

The only clear cut opportunity for the U’s came after Rovers skipper Steve McNulty sold short keeper Scott Davies with an attempted pass. United striker Luke Norris seized on the loose ball, but his effort was superbly saved by Davis, having rushed out to reduce the angle of which Norris could aim at.

Rovers finally found the break through with three minutes of the first half remaining. Colchester seemed content to deal with the patient build up from the home side but when Ollie Banks sped up the passes with a lovely first time ball past his marker, Cole Stockton found himself in acres of space to attack and he did so before finding Smith on the right, who cut inside onto his left foot but instead of shooting, brilliantly reversed the ball down the right of the area to the unmarked James Norwood, and the League Two player of the month did the rest, firing low across goal and into the far corner of the net.

Colchester began the second half with much more determination than the previous 45, having a penalty appeal waved away in the first 30 seconds before almost levelling the game when Brennan Dickenson's free kick caused havoc in the Rovers area, until Jennings did fantastically well to clear the ball, heading it away from goal.

They did have an equaliser however, bang on the hour when Scott Davies failed to get sufficient distance on his punch following a corner, and U’s captain Harry Pell was on hand to side foot it first time into the net. Colchester began to dominate possession and continued to attack, with Szmodics drawing a save from Davies with a low driven effort.

Despite having gained a foothold in the game, Colchester were still susceptible on the break and Rovers almost used this to their advantage when Norwood found space on the right to cross into Jennings who would have scored but for an outstanding point blank save from Dillon Barnes.

Rovers upped the ante in the final few minutes as Colchester sat back and opted to waste as much time as they could, for which they got their reward, gaining a valuable point and keeping themselves two points better off than the home side.

Next up for Rovers a trip up to Carlisle, on Saturday 15th September.

Rovers: Davies, Caprice, McNulty (Capt.), Monthe, Bakayogo, Smith (76 Mottley- Henry), McCullough, Banks, Jennings, Stockton (76 Mullin), Norwood NOT USED: George, Ellis, Gilmour, Harris, Cole

Attendance 5885

Report by Jake Mathot


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