George Thomas bags two second-half goals as the U23s are twice pegged back to draw...
Nicky Eaden resumed his duties in the U23s dugout as they were held to a draw against Colchester United.
After a tight first half, George Thomas opened the scoring before Colchester responded immediately to level the scores. With just ten minutes left to play, the Welshman was again on the end of a well-worked team move, but a wonderful curling effort from the edge of the City 18-yard gifted the U’s a last minute equaliser.
After a quiet opening, the first clear chance of the game fell to Sky Blues' free-scoring forward Thomas. City broke from a Colchester corner as Ivor Lawton, on his first start since injuring his knee 12 months ago, drove at the U’s backline. The midfielder found Bilal Siyoud, who’s low cross was turned over the bar by Thomas.
Colchester responded well and were only denied the opening goal through a smart Reice Charles-Cook save. Their number three cut inside from the left, driving to the byline, but couldn’t beat Charles-Cook at his near post.
City continued in their attempts to break through a stubborn Colchester defence as a lovely bit of link-up play nearly yielded a chance. Kyle Spence fired the ball into the feet of Thomas, but the latter’s backheel flick couldn’t quite find the attacker as he drove towards goal.
After a cagey first 45, City started the second half on the front foot and went close within a few minutes of the restart. Firstly Thomas flashed an effort wide via a deflection, before a lovely team move ended in a ball being fired across the six-yard, but it was somehow not converted as multiple Sky Blue shirts crowded the area.
City took the lead shortly after through Thomas. Dev. Kelly-Evans whipped in a free kick from out wide and when the ball was only half-cleared, Thomas was on had to slip it past the ‘keeper.
Despite the Sky Blue pressure, Colchester came forward and were back on level terms immediately. A corner was knocked back across goal, before the away side's number nine acrobatically diverted the ball goalbound and past half time substitute Corey Addai.
In complete contrast to the first 45, the second half seemed to come to life as City went close to retaking the lead. A well worked bit of play down the right hand side found its way to Thomas, the forward turned and struck it towards goal, but some heroic defending saw the ball diverted off the goal-line.
With just ten minutes left to play, City regained their advantage. A lovely interchange between Tom Bayliss and Thomas teed up the attacker to score his second of the game, slipping it under the oncoming ‘keeper.
As it looked to be yet another three points for City, Colchester's number 16 picked up the ball on the edge of the box before curling it into the top corner from 20-yards to level the scores late on.
Yellow: Dion Kelly-Evans
Coventry City U23: Charles-Cook (GK) (Addai 45'), Dev. Kelly-Evans (C), Di. Kelly-Evans, Harries, Finch, Sayoud, Lawton (Bayliss (60'), Shipley, G. Thomas, Spence (Finn 75'), McBean.
Subs: Whitmore, Eccles.