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Blues snatch a point at Colchester

Blues snatch a point at Colchester


Colchester United 1 Wycombe Wanderers 1

The Blues picked up another valuable point this afternoon despite being outplayed for the majority of the game.

As expected, promotion has brought with it a higher calibre of opposition, but despite being under the cosh for long periods of each of their three games so far, Wycombe have somehow emerged undefeated.

The primary reason for that is Nikki Bull, although the team's collective refusal to buckle under pressure comes a close second.

Within the first 15 minutes of today's game, Bull had twice thwarted the U's powerful striker Kayode Odejayi, firstly with a low dive to his right, and secondly with a superb reaction save to tip the ball over the bar.

With slick passing and plenty of players in support each time they attacked, the U's continued to pile on the pressure until they finally opened the scoring after 23 minutes when a cross from the left was volleyed home by Ashley Vincent.

Gareth Ainsworth briefly excited the travelling support with a surging run five minutes later, but only Scott Rendell was up in support, and U's keeper Mark Cousins did enough to ensure the move came to nothing.

Normal service was resumed when John Halls fell over the ball to present the U's with another glorious chance, but this time it was the woodwork that came to Wycombe's rescue as Ian Henderson's shot hit the crossbar with Bull beaten.

As the first half drew to a close, Joel Grant nodded an Ainsworth cross over the bar and Bull made another save, this time parrying Steven Gillespie's shot at the near post.

The U's continued to look good after the break, and the woodwork saved Wycombe yet again when Henderson's fierce shot crashed off the top of the crossbar.

Everything changed on the hour mark when Ainsworth did well to feed Scott Donnelly and the midfielder burst into the box and was brought down to earn a penalty for the Blues.

Rendell stepped-up and calmly slotted the ball to the keeper's left for the equaliser.

Having looked second-best all afternoon, Wycombe suddenly came to life and the remaining half-hour was an evenly matched affair, during which the Blues almost stole an unlikely victory.

Halls and Ainsworth were replaced by Ben Harding and Elliot Benyon with Strevens moving out to the right to allow debutante Benyon the chance to play alongside his former Torquay teammate Rendell.

The changes both worked, with Harding improving the midfield performance and Benyon giving the Colchester defenders something different to think about with a lively display up-front

The Blues were looking a lot better now and went on to create two chances to win the game, Cousins saving the first when he thwarted Joel Grant who turned on a sixpence and fired in a shot from the edge of the box.

The second chance arrived in stoppage time when Donnelly again burst into the box, but from an angle, and with Cousins blocking his way, the midfielder planted his shot agonisingly wide of the far post.

When the final whistle sounded, Wycombe banked a point that looked unlikely for much of the game and earned the bragging rights over the course of this week's double-header against their old-rivals from Essex.

Wycombe Man of the Match - Nikki Bull

Line-up & ratings

Bull (8), McCoy (6), Winfield (6), Tunnicliffe (7), Sandell (5), Ainsworth (6) (Benyon 66 (6)), Donnelly (7), Halls (5) (Harding 68 (6)), Grant (7) (Beavon 86 (n/a)), Strevens (6), Rendell (6).

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Writer:Len
Date:Saturday August 13 2011
Time: 10:58PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Plymouth 20 13 2 5 41 10
2 Carlisle 20 10 9 1 39 14
3 Doncaster 20 12 3 5 39 12
4 Portsmouth 20 10 4 6 34 13
5 Luton 20 8 8 4 32 10
6 Wycombe 20 9 4 7 31 3
7 Blackpool 20 8 6 6 30 13
8 Barnet 20 7 9 4 30 1
9 Cambridge 20 8 4 8 28 3
10 Yeovil 20 8 4 8 28 0
11 Stevenage 20 8 3 9 27 -1
12 Grimsby 20 7 5 8 26 1
13 Mansfield 20 6 8 6 26 -4
14 Crewe 20 6 8 6 26 -5
15 Crawley 20 7 5 8 26 -9
16 Colchester 20 6 6 8 24 1
17 Exeter 20 7 2 11 23 -3
18 Morecambe 19 7 2 10 23 -13
19 Hartlepool 20 5 7 8 22 -9
20 Notts County 20 6 4 10 22 -10
21 Leyton Orient 20 6 3 11 21 -4
22 Accrington 20 5 6 9 21 -6
23 Cheltenham 20 3 9 8 18 -10
24 Newport 19 4 5 10 17 -7
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