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Report: Colchester 1-1 Stags

16 September 2023

Davis Keillor-Dunn netted his seventh goal of the season as his 90th minute thunderbolt rescued a point for Mansfield at Colchester.

The forward had a chance on the hour to carve his name onto the scoresheet, heading over from Jordan Bowery’s perfect right-wing cross.

But there were no doubts about his crucial stoppage time effort as he belted the ball home following Aden Flint’s knock-down.

It looked like Stags would be going home empty handed in a game of few chances after Joe Taylor gave Colchester a first-half lead.

Stags made one enforced change as midfielder Hiram Boateng replaced George Maris, who was sidelined with a knee problem.

Mansfield chalked up two early corners, the second of which led to the game’s first chance, but midfielder Louis Reed rifled his shot well over from 20 yards.

And from another flag-kick on 10 minutes, forward Lucas Akins struck wide from the left of the box following Boateng’s delivery.

On 16 minutes, Stags registered the game’s first shot on goal when playmaker Louis Reed released Boateng, whose left-footed low drive from outside the area did little to trouble Colchester goalkeeper Owen Goodman.

Midway through the first-half, Stags pushed forward and centre-half Aden Flint tried his luck from 25 yards, but his effort flew high and wide.

Frontman James Gale had a better chance a minute later. Showing good footwork on the right of the box, the 21-year-old then lashed a shot narrowly wide of the left-hand upright.

Stags’ goalkeeper Christy Pym was called upon for the first time in the 26th minute. Colchester forward Joe Taylor peeled away on the left side of the box to fire at Pym, who stood well at his near post.

And less than a minute later, Taylor again was denied by the Stags’ goalkeeper, who was equal to his attempt from the left of the box.

It was third time lucky for Taylor who made no mistake with his next effort in the 30th minute.

Stags’ defender Lewis Brunt, who did well to initially win the ball inside the Colchester half, was then dispossessed. Latching on to Arthur Read’s throughball, Taylor raced through the middle before planting a powerful low hit beyond Pym.

Stags were let off the hook on 35 minutes following a Colchester corner. Noah Chilvers clipped in a cross to the back stick and the unmarked Zach Mitchell could only hammer it into the away end.

United had their tails up and Samson Tovide was next to have a crack, lashing a low shot off target after showing good strength to hold up the ball.

At the break, boss Nigel Clough made his first change as Will Swan replaced James Gale in attack.

Five minutes after the interval, Colchester forward Tovide twisted and turned Brunt on the edge of the box, but his tame effort rolled harmlessly behind for a goal kick.

On 53, Aaron Lewis cleverly found Davis Keillor-Dunn inside the box, who spun his man before striking into the gloves of Goodman.

Stags squandered a golden chance to equalise on the hour.

Bowery whipped a delicious ball in from the right, but Keillor-Dunn nodded over from eight yards with the goal at his mercy.

Stags then made a double change as Callum Johnson and Baily Cargill were introduced for Jordan Bowery and Lucas Akins.

Towering defender Aden Flint was subsequently sent up front to join Will Swan in attack.

Reed was shown the game’s first yellow card for tripping Tovide – 30 yards from the Stags’ goal - on 64 minutes.

Ollie Clarke then took the place of Boateng seven minutes later.

Cargill was given a yellow card for a foul on Tovide and Taylor met the same fate for Colchester after kicking away the ball on 76 minutes.

With ten minutes remaining, United made a double change and in the Stags’ camp, Callum Macdonald made way for George Williams.

Colchester came close to a second but Lewis was in the right place at the right time for Mansfield, clearing a certain goalbound header off the line following a Colchester corner.

Jayden Fevrier entered the referee’s notebook on 87 minutes for tripping Will Swan, before late drama unfolded with seconds to spare of normal time.

Brunt delivered a pin-point long ball to Flint who nodded it towards the penalty spot. And after Colchester failed to clear, Davis Keillor-Dunn stormed in to slam home with a left-footed thunderbolt.

Lewis took aim in stoppage time with a rasping drive, but Goodman was well behind it.

COLCHESTER: Goodman, Hall, Tovide (Ihokinvien 81), Chilvers, McGeehan (Mingi 61), Mitchell, Read, Egbo, Taylor (Akinde 81), Kazeem, Fevrier

UNUSED SUBS: Smith, Bandeira, Nelson, Thomas

STAGS: Pym, Bowery (Johnson 61), Flint, Brunt, Macdonald (Williams 81), Reed, Lewis, Boateng (Boateng 71), Keillor-Dunn, Gale (Swan HT), Akins (Cargill 61)

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, Cooper

REFEREE: Andy Davies

ATTENDANCE:  3,740 (460 Stags’ fans)

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