Colchester 3 West Brom 2 - Report
Yeates At The Double
Colchester (2) 3 V West Brom (2) 2
Saturday 20th October 2007
Yeates, 8, 68 (Pen)
West Brom Goals:
Steven Green at Layer Road
When Premier League contenders West Bromwich, the latest visitors at Layer Road for the 2007-8 season, came to town on Saturday, we were reminded that, after all is said and done, it`s what happens on the pitch that counts.
Forget about a huge gap financially, and fanwise, between the two clubs; it was a man from across the Irish Sea, in winger Mark Yeates, who stole all the headlines with a trademark free-kick, and another from the spot, to secure three vital points for Colchester United.
5,798 football fans packed into a tumbled-down Layer Road for which was to be the home side`s first ever league victory over the visitors.
The Baggies came to North Essex with a team packed with millions of pounds worth of talent, and arguably one of the best goalscorers in the league, in much travelled forward Kevin Phillips. The 34-year-old was back after missing the last couple games out injured and was just one reason why fans filing the turnstiles were expecting a goal feast.
Two changes were made for the U`s, with veteran keeper Aiden Davison coming in for the highly-rated Dean Gerken. The other, which saw Hungary international Bela Balogh make his full debut, was inflicted upon manager Geraint Williams, with captain Karl Duguid out through an ankle injury.
Two former Tottenham team-mates, U`s midfielder Kevin Watson and Golden Oldie striker Teddy Sheringham , both made the bench after an absence through injury.
The game started brightly, with the visitors edging possession and the U`s defence looked slightly fragile.
After only 6 minutes on the clock, the deadlock was broken, and the game exploded into life.
Baggie`s keeper Dean Kiely hit a hopeful punt upfield, which looped over the U`s defence, who had been taken unawares. The ball fell kindly into the path of forward Kevin Phillips, who calmly lobbed ball over the stranded Aiden Davison.
The home faithful already feared they could be in for a long afternoon, as Chants of "we are going up" echoed eerily from the Layer Road End, where the away fans are situated. These were to last all of seventy seconds, however, as the home side had soon drawn level.
The goal came when midfielder Jonnie Jackson was fouled on the edge of the 18-yard-box, leading Colchester fans to anticipate the prospect of another Mark Yeate`s special - they were not going to be disappointed.
The speedy Irish sensation stepped up to rifle the ball home precisely into the top left hand corner, leaving Kiely with no chance.
It was a sublime free-kick, prompting U`s manager Geraint Williams to label it "the best I`ve seen from him." In the context of this season, and the frequency with which he is now finding the net from set-pieces, that is some praise.
West Brom then went close to retaking the lead when James Morrison got in behind U`s left back George Elokobi and his fizzing ball across goal. It could not be met by the on-loan front man, Ishmael Miller.
Soon after, Portuguese wide man Felipe Teixeira exploited yet more space, but could not beat Davison from an acute angle, who justified his selection with a good save.
Coming up to the game's quarter mark, and with Colchester defending, Jackson managed to win the ball 20 yards from his own goal and hit it long towards Keven Lisbie.
Summer acquisition Lisbie looked to be through only for the visiting back line to make up ground. Lisbie persevered, useding his experience to cut inside Martin Albrechtsen and fire the ball low, past the right hand of his former Charlton colleague Dean Kiely. Kiely could only help Lisbie`s shot into the net; the home side were now 2-1 up.
Lisbie`s strike, from just inside the penalty area, was the Jamaican`s first goal with his feet in a Colchester United shirt, his other three coming with his head.
Then a run from-man-of-the-moment Yeates, which led to him being upheld in the visiting penalty area, brought on an incident that might well have ended up as a spot kick. It wasn`t given, much to the home fans` frustration.
Six minutes before half-time, the fourth goal of game arrived. West Brom full-back Paul Robinson played the ball to the lively Morrison, this time on the left-hand side. His pinpoint cross was met at the back post by giant forward Ishmael Miller, who rose above Elokobi to steer a downward beyond Davison, netting his 6th of the campaign.
Miller, 20, on-loan from Premier League club Manchester City, has proved himself to be a shrewd signing. As the deal struck with a view to a permanent transfer, the obvious question is: why Manchester City would want to let such a bright, lively, youngster go?
The second-half was less action-packed that the first, with Miller volleying over for the visitors as they pressed for winner.
With just over 20 minutes to go, Colchester broke away through Danny Granville in a move that would eventually win them the game. Graville played a pass to the in-form Yeates, who`s instant control set him on his way to goal.
The tricky winger made his way into the West Brom box, but went down under the challenge of Martin Albrechtsen.He stepped and calmly slotted home from 12 yards as Kiely went the wrong way to claim his 7th goal of the season.
It proved to be the winner as the U`s hung on for their second home win of the season -it was the visitors` fourth away defeat.
It seems, at last, like Colchester are back to their winning ways - just in time, too, with an away trip to Ipswich coming up on Tuesday night.
After a performance like that the only way the U`s are going is up. Up the A12, to Ipswich, that is!
Star Man: Mark Yeates Proved himself against one of the best teams in league, took his two goals very well.