By Daniel Jolly
Browse all Match Reports articles
Since Paul Lambert's defection to Norwich City after his side demolished his current charges 7-1 on the opening day, this game had the makings of one that would be remembered for years to come.
Colchester made four changes to the side that were embarrased 7-0 by Preston in the FA Cup fourteen days earlier. Simon Hackney, Kayode Odejayi, Steven Gillespie and Paul Reid, who had an operation earlier in the week, dropped out with Anthony Wordsworth, Clive Platt, Kevin Lisbie and Danny Batth coming in.
Norwich were unchanged from the side who beat Exeter 3-1 a week ago.
A sellout crowd of 10,064 greeted the two sets of players, in what turned out to be a fiery encounter.
The home side had the first chance after eight minutes, as winger Anthony Wordsworth forced a fine save from goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Both sides were finding the heavy conditions under foot difficult to deal with but it was the visitors who were coping better and they took the lead on 16 minutes.
After Danny Batth had failed to clear, Russell Martin laid on a pass to Chris Martin who lashed home a left footed effort past Ben Williams.
The game's first sour point came minutes later as Marc Tierney's late challenge on Wes Hoolahan led to a scuffle, with both being booked.
Clive Platt, Phil Ifil and Wordsworth all had chances but failed to convert and they were punished in stoppage time.
Kem Izzet and Ifil failed to hold onto the ball in the attacking third and Grant Holt's incisive pass bewildered Batth, and Martin raced clear and finished with aplomb.
Half Time: Colchester 0-2 Norwich
Home fans were hoping that Aidy Boothroyd's words had inspired his players at the interval, but things got worse just four minutes after the break.
After Hoolahan's free kick wasn't dealt with by Magnus Okuonghae, Gary Doherty fired an effort into the top corner.
Boothroyd brought on Kayode Odejayi and Pat Baldwin, in what could be his final appearance before a move to Bristol Rovers for David Fox and the disapointing Batth.
The visitors had the chance to make it Four just two minutes later as Okuonghae's foul on Holt was worthy of a penalty in the opinion of referee Mike Dean.
Much deliberation followed with Hoolahan hitting the bar and having his rebound chalked off, as no-one had touched the ball.
The fourth came with just ten minutes left as a criminal pass by Baldwin was intercepted by sub, Oli Johnson who finished coolly past Williams.
And the rout was complete in the final minute of normal time. Forster, who was largely pedestrian for the second period, hoofed a long kick forward which the Colchester defence again failed to deal with and the man who the U's had pursued with Lambert in charge, opposition skipper, Grant Holt rounded the dejected home keeper to make it five.
The action didnt stop there as on his first start,Ian Henderson made a crude lunge on Korey Smith and was quite rightly shown a straight red against his former club.
In the end,it turned out to be a fixture that all Colchester fans will remember for all the wrong reasons and could prove to be crucial come May.
Final Score: Colchester 0-5 Norwich
- 01 Williams
- 04 Okuonghae
- 21 Batth (Baldwin 55)
- 23 Tierney
- 25 White (Henderson 70)
- 31 Ifil
- 10 Izzet
- 14 Fox (Odejayi 55)
- 22 Wordsworth
- 09 Platt
- 20 Lisbie
Unused Subs: Cousins, Heath, Gillespie, Hackney.
- 21 Forster
- 03 Drury
- 05 Nelson
- 06 Martin
- 12 Doherty
- 14 Hoolahan (Johnson 66)
- 19 Lappin (Hughes 89)
- 20 Russell
- 30 Smith
- 09 Holt
- 16 Martin (Whitbread 83)
Unused Subs: Rudd, Gill, McNamee, McDonald.
To rate this article select the number of stars you think perfectly rates this article.