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Colchester United 0 - 4 Notts County

Joe Jones

Notts County recorded their biggest away win of the season today as they destroyed Colchester United by four goals to nil at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Jack Grealish and Morgan Fox gave the Magpies a healthy lead in the first half, before Callum McGregor and Gary Liddle completed the rout in the second half against the shellshocked U's.

Manager Shaun Derry opted for the 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 used in the win against Gillingham. The only change in personnel was Callum Ball, replacing Danny Haynes in the starting 11.

The first chance of the game came to Liddle in the third minute, after a neat ball teed up by McGregor. His side footed shot was comfortably saved by Sam Walker though.

Colchester got their first chance on five minutes, as Clinton Morrison seized on a loose ball in the centre of the box to fire a low shot, but Bart saved well.

Long throws were the order of the day from the Colchester starting eleven, and one in the eighth minute fell to Alex Gilbey, who powered the ball towards Bart with a header. Again, saved by the Pole.

Fifteen minutes played, Alan Sheehan put his set piece skills to good use as his dangerous free-kick was cleared away, before the Irishman then launched an ambitious 30-yard shot towards goal, which sadly was over.

As the game went on, Notts grew in confidence and asserted themselves into the game, the skilful Grealish getting several shots in and repeatedly breaking through the U's defence with his pace. The occasional flash of Colchester intent was thwarted by the Notts defence or keeper.

Grealish was eventually rewarded for his endeavour and hard work with a goal in the 30th minute. A good low cross from JCR was met by the young Aston Villa loanee, who kept his composure to fire a low shot past Walker into the bottom left corner. First blood to Notts.

Despite the setback, the U's would continue to drive forward and use those long throws to cause chaos in the Notts defence. Gilbey and Jabo Ibehre were able to get several shots in quick succession on 35 minutes in this manner, all wide or saved though.

Notts withstood the brief barrage, but rather than just consolidate the lead, they went on to extend it right on the stroke of half time. A great cross from Ball on the far side fell kindly to Fox, who proceeded to tap it in at the back post.

Half time, and Notts go in with a healthy 2-0 lead.

Colchester kicked off the second half with intent, Craig Eastmond firing a dangerous shot from outside the box, which Bart saved, and Okuonghae picking up the ball in the Notts box but firing high, a great chance gone amiss. This followed a yellow for Liddle, booked for a tough challenge.

Notts continued to play good football despite Colchester's growing presence in the game, JCR and McGregor causing trouble on the hour mark with good runs into the U's half.

Both sides by this point were going for broke, Notts wanting to capitalise on their lead and momentum, Colchester desperately trying to pull one back. The game became a great display of end-to-end football, chances falling to both teams one after the other.

As the tempo went up, so did the intensity of the players, and as such, the frequency of tackles. Eastmond and McGregor were booked in quick succession on 69 and 71.

Grealish very nearly got a second on 79, but his shot, following a Sheehan corner, smashed against the post.

Not to worry, as McGregor would soon get his customary goal as per his sterling performances, finishing a move started by Andre Boucaud by slotting home from the left-hand side past Walker.

Colchester didn't even have time to compose themselves when the Purple Rain came storming down once again on the beleaguered U's, Grealish crossing to Liddle who pretty much walked the ball into the net a mere three minutes later.

And so the game ended, 4-0, the joint-biggest win of the season (alongside the 4-0 win at Crewe a few weeks back). What made this all the sweeter was the fact it was away, it was a second win on the bounce, and it finally sees us come off the foot of the table.

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What an amazing day! I'm glad I went and had the opportunity to go. We didn't play like a side struggling, I felt they looked very weak and almost pathetic at times. After we scored the first two, their defence just gave up and didn't aim to compete - oddly their attacking play could have gotten into the game.

Regardless, a deserved and important win - 3 points and a clean sheet. Well Done Notts!

Good Match Report :D

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