Colchester United 1 Stevenage 1, match report: Mikael Mandron scores his first goal for the U’s
PUBLISHED: 16:52 12 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:07 12 August 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Colchester United 1 Stevenage 1
Mikael Mandron scored his first goal for Colchester United as the U’s picked up their first point of the season, with a home draw against Stevenage this afternoon.
Danny Newton put Boro ahead in the 50th minute, only for Mandron to oblige with a 66th minute equaliser.
Stevenage started the second half brightly and they broke the deadlock within five minutes of the restart.
Newton made the most of Ronnie Henry’s dangerous low delivery, lashing home a low shot on the turn from just eight yards out, in a central position.
But the U’s were on level terms in the 66th minute.
Keeper Joe Fryer was in no man’s land trying to cut out a through ball, with Drey Wright arriving first on the scene, just outside the left-edge of the penalty area.
Wright kept his composure before picking out an unmarked Mandron, who lifted his shot into the roof of the net from 10 yards out with an empty goal beckoning.
That goal avoided the prospect of three straight defeats at the start of the season.
Mandron squandered an excellent chance inside the first four minutes, scooping a shot over the bar from just 10 yards out following a good delivery by strike-force partner Wright.
Livewire Sammie Szmodics, who had scored the U’s first goal of the season at Accrington Stanley last weekend, carved out an opportunity for himself with a strong run from Mandron’s lay-off in the 10th minute. But the U’s attacking midfielder dragged his shot wide of target.
Stevenage, beaten at Millwall in the Carabao Cup in midweek, had a sight of goal in the 13th minute, and Ryan Jackson, on his U’s home league debut, did well to charge down Harry Beautyman’s goal-bound drive.
Boro enjoyed a purple patch midway through the first period and striker Mandron was back defending to help out his team, block-tackling Luke Wilkinson before the centre-half could pounce on the edge of the six-yard box.
The first proper of the save of the match did not arrived until the half-hour mark, when Sam Walker dived to his left to smother an angled low drive by Danny Newton.
The U’s finally registered a shot on target themselves on 44 minutes. Jackson let fly with a ferocious shot, from Mandron’s knock-down, which was clawed away acrobatically by keeper Joe Fryer.
Just 30 seconds into the second half and Matt Godden, Boro’s leading scorer with 20 league goals last season, thumped a shot inches wide of the far post with what his side’s best chance of the afternoon.
The U’s then suffered a double blow. Kpekawa was forced to leave the pitch suffering concussion in the 48th minute, with substitute Lewis Kinsella introduced, and Newton broke the deadlock just two minutes later with a smart finish.
The home side began to show more urgency after going a goal down.
Murray was not far adrift with a 25-yarder that swirled wide, before Mandron squeezed home an equaliser high into the roof of the net from Wright’s 66th minute delivery.
The U’s nearly took the lead in the 75th minute. Tom Lapslie’s goal-bound shot took a deflection, with Mandron unable to direct the rebound on target.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Eastman, Kent, Kpewaka (sub Kinsella, 48), Jackson, Lapslie, Murray (sub Slater, 76), Reid (sub Loft, 78), Szmodics, Wright, Mandron. Unused subs: Gilmartin, Kinsella, Johnstone, Vincent-Young, Slater, James.
STEVENAGE: Fryer, Henry, Franks, Wilkinson, Martin, Sminth, Whelpdale (sub Samuel, 46), Gorman, Newton, Beautyman (sub Pett, 87), Gooden (sub Kennedy, 61). Unused subs: Day, Conlon, Van Cooten, McKee.
Referee: Antony Coggins
Attendance: 3,330 (348 away fans)