Layer Road, Colchester
Boxing day 15:00
Attendance: 6,157 including 1,086 saints supporters
Saints were unfortunate to only gain a point at Layer Road.
Saints had the better of the early stages and dominace was proved when Stern John latched on to Safri's ball through, he played the ball accross the area for Jhon Viafara who tapped home on 19 minutes.
Saints had filled there alloted allocation of 1086 and the fans were right behind the team from the off. anybody would have thought that saints were the home team, not only were the players dominating the game but the fans were singing up for the players who seemed to ooze passion and belief throughout the first half, Andrew Surman was running the show in midfield and Andrew Davies was playing a superb game, better than any defender i have seen at this level for a very long time. Central midfield player Jermaine Wright was superb at left-back, he filled in for Rudi Skacel who was ill.
Saints got through the half 1-0 up creating all the chances but Colchester didn't let there heads drop.
Just after the break Saints were hit by a goal very much against the run-of-play. a ball was floated into the right back area where it was flicked on by the 'lump' for Colchester, Bennett couldn't get enough of a boot on it to clear it and it fell kindly to Platt who squeezed the ball past Kelvin Davis, and Andrew Davies.
The referee and his assistants had a huge part to play in Colchester Uniteds luck.
With an hour and three minutes gone Andrew Surman played a chip ball into the box, sub Grzegorz Rasiak was lurkign as Adam Virgo used his arm to deflect the ball away from the Polish hitman. The penalty was as clear as a bell and the saints fans on the terracing were'nt at all impressed. The saints fans were shouting 'Howwzzaaaattt' everytime we wanted a free kick or penalty, mocking the fact that referee Jarnail Singh looked like England Cricket spin bowler Monty Panesar.
More dodgeyness from the officals just 2 minutes later in another spell of pure dominance from the south coast side. Jason Euell won a header in the box and the ball looped over Gerken in the Colchester goal, he then got back to claw the ball away, although it appeared the ball had crossed the line, some saints fans behind the goal thought so, the ball went out to Andrew Davies who put the ball back into the box, with 2 defenders of the line Grzegorz Rasiak controlled the ball with one touch and finished with his next touch, although somehow the refs assistant raised his flag for offside, even though there was 2 players on the line and Rasiak took both touches. Hmmmmmm, not quite right eh ref??
Other chances came saints way, Make-shift right back Wayne Thomas crossed the ball at Rasiak who managed to divert his head round the ball, unfortunatley the header didn't have enough direction on it and keeper Dean Gerken made a terrific save to tip it over the bar and into the terracing filled with Saints fans.
More chances came, although half chances at best, Stern John drove into the penalty area only for his shot to go well over the bar and hit the advertising board on top of the stand. Rasiak also had a half chance but his hook shot just went wide.
Colchester had a chance to win it towards the end, John Jackson got his head towards the ball but Kelvin Davis made a world class save to ensure saints got atleast a point from the boxing day out.
Kelvin Davis 8
Wayne Thomas 6
Andrew Davies 10
Alan Bennett 7
Jermaine Wright 9
Jhon Viafara 8
Yousseff Safri 8
Andrew Surman 8
Jason Euell 6
Stern John 7
Bradley Wright-Phillips 5
Grzegorz Rasiak 8
He made a huge difference from the bench, saints looked a better side with his introduction. He picked up an injury towards the end of the game and is on the huge treatment table at saints.
He didn't have much time on the pitch, but he still caused havok with the U's defence.