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FT: Colchester 0 City 2
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James Hanson and Kyle Bennett earned City a vital and richly-deserved victory at Colchester tonight.
Hanson, back after missing the Brentford defeat, announced his return with a trademark header from Matty Dolan’s corner.
And Bennett scored the first goal of his loan spell from Doncaster with a fine finish early in the second half.
Aaron Mclean had his best game in a City shirt and should have broken his own duck but fired wide just before the break.
Andrew Davies also headed narrowly wide as the Bantams cruised past their toothless hosts to ease fears of being dragged into the fight at the wrong end of League One.
That's it and City have three big points!
One more Colchester corner... again defended with the minimum of fuss
And Mclean joins him in Dean Whitestone's book...
A late booking for a late tackle from Gilbey
Fourth official says "four more minutes"
Mclean furious to be given offside as he breaks clear. Clearly feels he was in his own half
Colchester's first shot on target rolls into McLaughlin. It's taken 84 minutes
Sub number two for City - McHugh for Drury
Not to be left out, Davies heads away a Colchester throw with snow on it...
And a thumping header out from McArdle that you could hear in Chelmsford...
Here comes that City change. Bennett deserves the cheers and song from the away fans as Thompson replaces him
Colchester now playing three up front
Thompson ready to come on for the Bantams. 12 minutes left
Colchester make a double sub as Bonne and Gilbey replace Bean and Morrison. That goes down well with the locals
Reach has his first shot of the night and Walker saves by his near post
Another corner for Colchester but Watt's shot is blocked by his own man Okuonghae
Scramble in the City box and McLaughlin does well to thwart Bean right in front of goal
Darby gets booked for trip on Watt.
Dolan puts Davies in trouble by passing back to him when the defender's on the ground in the penalty area. But he thuds the ball away in a tackle
Colchester finally applying some pressure on the City goal and win their first corner. But the visitors comfortably see it off
Colchester have the ball in the net .... but it's ruled out for hand ball against Bean.
It's been coming and City are finally 2-0 up! BENNETT bursts through from a throw-in and slams home his first goal for the club from a tight angle
Sears lifts the home fans after nicking possession away from Davies and then Reach. Doyle clears up the danger on the edge of the City box
Mclean again threatening to get in behind the home back four. City not sitting on their lead
The crowd is 2,605 - Colchester's third lowest in the league this season - with 281 from City
Colchester continue to live on their nerves at the back as Mclean nearly picks off a wayward backpass from Eastman
Another big chance for City as Davies heads wide from McArdle free-kick. Should have hit the target
No changes from either side as Colchester restart proceedings...
HT and City lead 1-0. Well worth their advantage but how costly could that Mclean miss prove to be?
One minute of stoppage time
Bennett robs Dickson and sets up Mclean for clear shot on goal. He has to score....
He fires wide!!!
Important back-tracking from Davies to nick the ball away from Massey as he chases Morrison's flick-on
Watt goes down under Davies' challenge in the box but there are only half-hearted shouts for a Colchester penalty
Sorry bout the break but Wifi briefly dropped. In that time, Mclean had a shot over the bar
Mclean again with a shot on the turn that Walker smothers
Mclean again with a shot on the turn which Walker smothers. City playing very well
Thumping shot from Mclean plucked out the air by Walker. That ball was travelling...
Bennett drifts inside from the right wing and attempts curler with his left foot that flies well wide...
James Hanson goal machine! #bcafc— @GrahamTaylor69 11 March 2014
Drinks break as Doyle gets some treatment from Matt Barrass. Hot chocolate would be nice.... it's getting nippy here!
Drury hangs another deep cross under the bar and Walker needs two takes as Hanson lurks
City first to the 50/50 balls, confidence seems to have drained from the home side
Amazing the difference a goal makes... City have a bit of swagger in their play and Colchester suddenly looking sloppy
And City have the lead... as HANSON thumps his far-post header beyond Walker!
Now City win a corner
Doyle thunderbolt from edge of the box is superbly saved by Walker. That came out of nothing from the City midfielder
Sears has another pop after the ball was well shielded by Morrison. Again it's too high to worry McLaughlin
Surging run from Sears towards the City back four but he lofts shot over from the edge of the box.
A first song from the home fans. We're only 11 minutes in
Neat passing move started by Dickson ends with the one-time Bantam heading wide from Watt's cross.
Nice skill from former Leeds winger Sanchez Watt to bring the ball down from out the sky. The pitch, as Phil Parkinson predicted, is not the best...
The City fans are making themselves heard already
.... and straight away there's a shot from Mclean which forces a save. That's one more shot than he had on Saturday
Parkinson gets generous applause before City get us underway...
Mark Yeates's name among the subs gets a clap from some home fans, who remember him for scoring the first competitive goal at this stadium in 2008
The teams are out and lining up for the hand shakes...
Colchester name the same side that beat Coventry on Saturday - their first win in seven games.
Left back Ryan Dickson lines up against the side where he spent a brief loan last season before ankle surgery forced him out.
They are expected to line up 4-2-3-1 with Sanchez Watt and Gavin Massey on the flanks and Freddie Sears supporting Clinton Morrison up front.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, Dickson, Wright, Bean, Massey, Sears, Watt, Morrison. Subs: Cousins, Eastmond, Gilbey, Olufemi, Vose, Sesay, Bonne.
Absolutely cannot see anything else other than a resounding #bcafc victory tonight...— @KeithWildman 11 March 2014
Hearing that five Colchester players have only just got here after horrendous traffic problems on the A12 near Chelmsford...
Hanson & Davies both fit & the legend that is Stephen Darby baby to captain side, next you will be telling me we have a left back! #bcafc— @BantamsBlog 11 March 2014
And more importantly... we have power again!!
James Hanson and Andrew Davies are both fit to play for City tonight.
But there is no Gary Jones, who is laid low with a virus. Stephen Darby will captain the side in his absence.
Adam Drury makes his debut at left back and Matty Dolan comes in to replace Gary Jones.
Arron Jameson is left out to meet the five loanee quota so youth-team keeper Jack Bentley is on the bench.
CITY: McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Drury, Bennett, Doyle, Dolan, Reach, Hanson, Mclean. Subs: Bentley, Gray, Thompson, Yeates, McHugh, Bates, Atkinson.
Phil Parkinson is having a good chat with Colchester boss Joe Dunne in the tunnel. Dunne was his youth-team coach when Parkinson was in charge of the U's
... and Twitter is down as well for maintenance. It seems the end of the world is nigh
Slightly worryingly the power has gone down in the press box. Hopefully some bright sparky might be able to get it sorted - otherwise it could get interesting on here late in the game!
Good evening and welcome from the Weston Homes Community Stadium in Colchester as City look to bounce back from two defeats.
It's been a lovely sunny day in Essex but it's going to be a chilly one tonight for the hardy supporters who have made the long journey south.
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