Nouble nets a hat-trick as experienced Development squad prove too strong for U's
Town’s U21 Development side edged out their Colchester United counterparts, winning 4-3 in an entertaining game at Portman Road.
Frank Nouble netted a hat-trick for Blues, with Andy Drury also getting on the scoresheet whilst the U’s responded through a brace from Jack Compton and a further strike from midfielder Jordan Sanderson.
Blues started the brighter and both Nouble and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas went close with early efforts, whilst Alex Gilbey headed over for the visitors after eight minutes.
Town made the breakthrough their first-half dominance had deserved, as Drury fired Mark Kennedy’s side in front with a superb volley from the edge of the area after Tyrone Mings had headed the ball into his path.
Blues made a bright start to the second-half too, with Nouble showing good strength to hold off Kenzer Lee before keeping his composure to slot the ball home after 48 minutes.
However the visitors pulled a goal back five minutes later, after Blues skipper Byron Lawrence was disposed in possession and Sanderson burst from midfield before firing low into the corner and beyond Scott Loach.
But Town extended their lead soon after with Nouble again the man on target. The striker pounced on a loose ball in the box before slotting home from close range to make it 3-1 just before the hour mark.
However the U’s were certainly no pushovers and the visitors stunned Town with two goals inside nine minutes to draw level.
First Gilbey saw his free-kick deflect off Nouble and wrongfoot Loach to nestle into the net, before the lively Compton levelled the scores with a stunning strike into the far corner from fully 25 yards.
However Town proved too strong in the end and when Josh Carson sent Nouble through, there was only going to be one outcome and the striker lashed the ball into the top corner for his hat-trick an ensured Blues took the three points in an entertaining game at Portman Road.
Town: Loach, Hewitt, Kisnorbo, Nkunga, Mings, Emmanuel-Thomas, Drury, Yusuff (Zapata-Caicedo 66), Carson, Lawrence, Nouble. Subs not used: Crowe, Hammond, Thorsteinsson, Timlin.
Booked: Kisnorbo, Carson.
Colchester: Phillips, Buck, Lee, Heath, Olufemi, Gilbey, Wright, Sanderson, Izzet (Hunt 67), Ladapo, Compton (Simmons 76). Subs not used: O’Donaghue, McLaugh, Nuachuku.