Writer: StevieG Col U
Date:Saturday September 19 2009
Steven Green @ Weston Homes Community Stadium
19/09/2009 - 15:00
TWO spot-kicks from Kevin Lisbie, against Hartlepool United, ensured Aidy Boothroyd made it a winning start in his first home game in charge of Colchester United.
The U`s, who were rewarded a gobsmacking three penalty-kicks, during the game, earned a comfortable 2-0 victory in front of a, sparse, but noisy Weston Homes Community Stadium crowd.
New-signings Kayode Odejay + Danny Batth were both handed full-debuts by Boothroyd, while midfielder David Fox also moved into the starting XI, as winger Ashley Vincent sat out through injury.
As the match started evenly, with both the U`s and the Monkey Hangers full of attacking intent, Lisbie had the first-real chance, but failed to connect with Anthony Wordsworth`s curling cross from the left.
The visitors were the first of the sides to test either 'keeper, with defender Peter Hartley forcing U`s man Ben Williams into a fantastic save, low down to his left.
The U`s were, however, starting to consistently cause their opponents problems, with the on-loan Odejayi flashing a decisive header narrowly wide of the upright.
Shortly after, Lisbie, who was operating in an unorthodox right-wing position, played the ball in-field to powerful midfield-man John-Joe O`Toole. And the Irishman launched a left-footed piledriver, from fully 25-yards, which looked destined for the top-corner, only for Pools` stopper Scott Flinders to palm it away from danger.
Despite the U`s domination, Williams had to be alive to keep the game goalless, using his feet well, to save James Brown`s low-effort, on 37 minutes.
Another cross from the U`s caused more problems, and after O`Toole failed to get a shot away, his central-midfielder partner Fox went close with a delicate long-range shot.
Pools` centre-half Sam Collins was penalised, minutes later, for a foul on Odejayi, only for Lisbie to fire the resulting spot-kick high and wide, much to the home fan`s disappointment.
But, with the half-time whistle drawing closer, Lisbie was given the chance to lay his ghost to rest, as the U`s were rewarded a second penalty-kick. And the Jamaican ace didn`t hesitate at all - smashing the ball into the top-corner, beyond 'keeper Flinders` stretched dive.
HALF-TIME: Colchester 1-0 Hartlepool
Two-minutes into the second-period and the U`s were, astonishingly handed another spot-kick, to bring their tally to a trio, this time for hand ball. And Lisbie stepped up for a third time, converting the ball low into the bottom corner, as Flinders was stranded.
The game quietened down, following the U`s, and Lisbie`s second, but Odejayi came close to making it 3-0 on the hour mark. Quick-thinking from a free-kick fed the big-forward in behind the back-four, but Flinders produced a fine reflex save to deny him a debut goal.
As the U`s continued to coast the game, Wordsworth, who has immensely impressed this season, blazed a knock-down, from Clive Platt, high over the cross-bar.
Boothroyd was given the chance to experiment, as the U`s held out for a comfortable win, with Steven Gillespie and Thomas Bender both playing the final few minutes.
FULL-TIME: Colchester 2-0 Hartlepool
U's: Williams, White, Okuonghae, Batth, Tierney, Lisbie (Ifil 88), Fox, O'Toole, Wordsworth (Bender 88), Platt, Odejayi (Gillespie 80)
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