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MATCH REPORT | Colchester United 3-1 Swindon Town
Swindon came into the game against Colchester vitally needing a response following their pounding in the FA Cup by National League side Aldershot.
Michael Flynn was forced into a change with his starting eleven, with Saido Kahn suspended Liam Kinsella would get the nod in a five-man midfield. The other change was Harrison Minturn being replaced by Jake Young who partnered with Charlie Austin.
Swindon managed to survive the first 60 seconds without going a goal down but almost presented Colchester with a perfect start. Tom Brewitt's slip allowed Joe Taylor freedom down the wing, but Udoka Godwin-Malife was on hand to snuff out any danger. Already a small improvement from the Aldershot game.
Town's first chance came in the eighth minute when Kinsella won a header and got the ball to Young, who found Remeao Hutton who cut inside but then sliced his effort high and wide of the Colchester goal.
The opening 15 minutes saw Swindon looking like a side with something to prove, controlling the ball and looking for an opening. Town just needed that one big chance to show for their opening dominance.
In the 23rd minute, Swindon got the goal they were searching for, Frazer Blake-Tracy found Young with a brilliantly driven pass. Young was calm and composed as he stepped inside and stroked the ball into the far corner making it 1-0.
Following the goal Colchester seemed to wake up, and a half chance saw Jay Mingi drive at Blake-Tracey who was able to unsettle the striker and win the ball. This riled up what seemed like all the 80 home fans in attendance.
Dan Kemp would go into the referee's book after he took Mingi down on the edge of the area. The resulting free-kick could have been a big chance, but it was pee-rolled into the wall.
Colchester had a short spell of control before Swindon began piling on the pressure again, with Tyrese Shade, Young and Brewitt all having chances in short succession and testing Owen Goodman in the U’s goal.
The first half would come to an end with Swindon in control. Despite neither side having too many opportunities Jake Young was called upon and he delivered to give Town a narrow 1-0 lead at the break.
The second half got underway and Colchester came out of the gates strongly. A throw-in saw Swindon completely switch off and a ball in found Cameron McGeehan, the ball hit the midfielder and found the back of the net making it 1-1.
As the game approached the hour both sides had chances. Blake-Tracey attempted to head away a ball into the area but the ball bounced awkwardly and almost caught out Murphy Mahoney who recovered.
Young had a chance for Swindon but scuffed his shot and it was well wide, following this, Swindon's defensive issues reared their head. A sloppy goal kick saw Kinsella have to put his body on the line to stop the approaching Samson Tovide and the midfielder went down with a head injury, but was okay to continue following a break in play.
The home side had been in control of the second half and they were rewarded. A swift counter-attack caught out the Swindon defence and William Greenidge’s cross went straight to Tovide who fired home to give Colchester a 2-1 lead.
Swindon needed to fight back and were creating chances. First Kemp nearly picked out Charlie Austin in the box but was denied, then Hutton found some space out wide and found Hepburn-Murphy but the striker couldn't get enough on it to find the net.
Kemp would be next, but his drilled effort whistled just wide of the post. Hepburn-Murphy had been everywhere since coming on and his next chance came in the 77th minute getting a proper strike on the ball this time but it was wide and also called offside.
Hepburn-Murphy had a huge chance in the 79th minute managing to get in behind the Colchester defence, but right as he pulled the trigger a last-minute lunge from a Colchester man denied him.
The 82nd minute saw a rare occurrence and something only Swindon could have done chasing a goal. Hutton played the ball back to his keeper and for some reason, Mahoney picked it up giving Colchester an indirect free-kick that came to nothing.
Shortly before the 90th minute, Swindon had a huge chance. Hutton’s deep ball into the box was begging for a touch, but both Kemp and Hepburn-Murphy missed the ball by inches for what was certainly the equaliser.
Despite all their chances, Colchester would kill the game in the 93rd minute when Noah Chilvers found the back of the net and sealed another loss for Swindon away from home.
Full time came and it felt like nothing had changed from Saturday.
Despite a strong showing in the first half the current demons that plague this Swindon side came out in force. Three goals conceded in 45 minutes when winning is simply unacceptable and it seems there is no end in sight.
I joked on Twitter that I could pre-write these match reports because it genuinely seems the team are following a script every week and the script is getting very very predictable.
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