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Report: Bristol City U23s 2-3 Colchester United U23s

Despite a spirited second-half showing, City Under-23s fell to a 2-3 home defeat to Colchester United, ensuring the young Robins stay third in the Professional Development League table.

The visitors took an early lead at the Optima Stadium in Weston Super-Mare through Noah Chilvers, before Marcus Day levelled the scores from the spot.

However, Colchester’s lead was restored with two goals before half-time through Matt Weaire and Cameron James.

Sam Pearson’s superb solo effort on 65 minutes set up a tense finish, with City piling the pressure on the away goal, but ultimately failing to find the finishing touch.

Luke Williams fielded a young City side, which was captained by 21-year-old Harvey Smith.

Visitors Colchester raced into a third minute lead at a rainy Optima Stadium, with City loanee Freddie Hinds threading a ball through to the onrushing Noah Chilvers, who powered a close range finish across Robins keeper Lochlan Robertson and into the back of the net.

However, City responded well to going behind, and were awarded a penalty just seven minutes later, with Sam Pearson being tripped on the edge of the area. Marcus Day cooly stepped up to level the scores, convincingly placing the ball to the keeper’s left.

The young Robins then went close to taking the lead, with Pearson again at the heart of it. The attacker played the ball into the path of the arriving Tommy Conway, who fired a low effort straight at Callum Coulter in the U’s goal.

Despite this pressure, Colchester regained their advantage on 18 minutes. Chilvers received the ball in space following a short free kick, before arrowing a low delivery across goal which was duly converted by Matt Weaire.

The U’s then doubled their lead eight minutes later, with an Ollie Sims corner fortunately dropping to Cameron James on the edge of the area, who fired through a sea of bodies and past Robertson.

City’s shot stopper then came to the Robins’ rescue just before half-time to prevent the visitors from scoring a fourth, thwarting Michael Fernandes’ close-range effort after he had been slipped through by Hinds.

Robertson was called into action again on the hour mark, palming away Fernandes’ vicious strike from the edge of the area.

City pulled one back through Pearson, who collected a Ricardo Rees pass on the right-hand-side, before jinxing his way into the penalty area and finishing sweetly at the near post.

Williams’ side then had a chance to justifiably level the scores through goalscorer Day, with Pearson cutting the ball back from the byline only for the unmarked winger to fire over the bar from 12 yards.

The dangerous Pearson was next to come close, but his curling effort from the edge of the area failed to get the better of Coulter in the Colchester goal.

Cameron James then had a chance to extinguish any hope City had of a comeback, although couldn’t find a way past the impressive Robertson in the home goal.

Rees came closest to adding a dramatic late equaliser for City, although his last minute strike from the edge of the area fell straight to the grateful gloves of Coulter.  

STARTING XI: Robertson, Taylor (Lott 21’- Gould 60’), Soady, Towler, H. Smith, Low, Pearson, Day, Conway, Rees, Owers (Bell 60’). Subs not used: Sainsbury.

Written by Jack Dosson

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