Former Black Cat proves unlucky for Stevenage as Colchester United rescue a draw
- Credit: Archant
A moment of madness from Joe Fryer midway through the second half gave Mikael Mandron an equaliser and Colchester United a share of the points with Stevenage at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
The Stevenage keeper came for a ball played down the left-hand side of the box that he was always second favourite to get.
But once there he tried to jostle the winger who was able to centre it for the former Sunderland man to fire into the roof of the net.
It cancelled out a second of the season for Danny Newton, who scored six minutes into the second period.
A fabulous lofted pass from Dale Gorman found Joe Martin in the box and his cross was steered home Boro’s new striker.
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At the time it was nothing more than Stevenage had deserved.
They had been the better side during the first period, and started the second superbly, but Colchester were a huge threat after Newton’s goal and probably deserved the point.
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That first-half had been a frustrating one for Stevenage, who almost played as the home team with United happy to catch them on the break.
They had by far and away the lion share of possession and by the break had racked up a considerable number of corners and free-kicks deep in dangerous territory.
But for all that, they failed to open up the hosts on almost all of those occasions.
Danny Newton had their only shot in that period that forced Sam Walker into action, with a couple of blocks from Harry Beautyman and Luke Wilkinson the only chances of note.
And it was the hosts who had the best opportunity as the half closed with Joe Fryer making a superb fintertip save down low to his right as Ryan Jackson fired one across goal towards the bottom corner.
Manager Darren Sarll’s frustrations from the technical area were evident during that 45 minutes and he responded at half-time by bringing Alex Samuel on for Chris Whelpdale – to immediate effect.
Twice in the opening 60 seconds of the half he got down the right and whipped a dnagerous cross in, the first of which Matt Godden curled a foot wide.
The bright start from the visitors brought the opening goal but that in turn unleashed the best spell of pressure from the U’s.
And after Sean Murray had a shot whistle over the top, Fryer had his rush of blood.
Both sides had chances in the closing quarter of the game, Samuel and Fraser Franks putting header’s the wrong side of the woodwork, and Sammie Szmodics stabbing an effort wide.
Stevenage: Fryer, Smith, Martin, Franks, Wilkinson, Whelpdale (Samuel 46), Beautyman (Pett 86), Gorman, Newton, Godden (Kennedy 60), Henry
Subs (not used): Day, Van Cooten, Conlon, McKee
Goals: Newton 51
Colchester: Walker, Jackson, Lapslie, Kent, Wright, Szmodics, Kpekawa (Kinsella 49), Murray (Slater 76), Reid (Loft 78), Eastman, Mandron
Subs (not used): Gilmartin, Johnstone, Vincent-Young, James
Goals: Mandron 66
HT: Colchester United 0 Stevenage 0
Attendance: 3,330 (348 from Stevenage)
Referee: Antony Coggins (Bicester)