Heybridge: Gage, Amass, Ayden, Foakes, Kersey,Ribchester, Malton, Brown, Callander, Edwards, Ofori.
Colchester: Cousins, Rose, Aldred, Heath, Duguid, O’Toole, Sears, Bond, Henderson, Wilson, James-Lewis.
On a superb Scraley Road pitch John
Ward brought a virtually full strength squad to Heybridge for the opening fixture for both teams. Heybridge had an early chance in the 7th minute when Callander neatly laid the ball to Malton who rushed in upon goal to force a fine save from Cousins.
Colchester went close when O’Toole shot over on 11 minutes before taking the lead on the quarter hour when Bond’s shot was parried by Gage to allow Henderson
to put the visitors ahead. It was two shortly after when Sears beat Amass and crossed for Henderson
to half volley into the roof of the Swifts net.
On 26 minutes Henderson’s attempt for his hattrick saw his shot tipped onto the bar by Gage and a follow up shot from Sears was well saved. Sadly the rebound fell back to Sears
whose shot deflected over the keeper to make it three.
The goal of the game saw Sears
slip as he unleashed a 20 yard shot and the ball went into the top right hand corner for 4-0. Keeper Gage was alert when he made a fine save low down to stop Karl Duguid from increasing the lead. Shortly before the break Swifts broke down the right through Malton and his cross was deflected for a Swifts corner.
Half Time Changes:
Heybridge: Cheek for Foakes. Hastings for Ayden.
Colchester Starting X1: Pentney, Ramm, Eastman, White, Coker, Gilbey, Hamilton, Bean, Wright, Melaugh, Ladapo
The second half was much quieter for the home defence with Colchester enjoying the majority of possession. Colchester’s Melaugh suffered a shoulder knock and as a precaution he was replaced by Tosin Alufemi.
Swifts made regular changes during the half with Holdstock & Eddo replacing Callander & Brown respectively, followed by Brotherton for Malton, Stamp for Edwards and Hind for Ofori.
Colchester went close on 75 minutes to increasing their lead when Hamilton’s volley was tipped round by Gage, but two minutes later Gilbey’s fine through ball saw Alufemi
nip in between Kersey and Gage to score.
Swifts went close in the 85th minute when Ben Cheek broke down the left and his cross saw Tom Holdstock
shoot narrowly wide. Alufemi
became the third U’s player to hit a brace when he followed up a parried shot to make the final score 6-0.