Kevin Nolan named an unchanged starting 11 following the Magpies’ 2-1 victory over Coventry City last weekend. That meant Jonathan Forte kept his place alongside Shola Ameobi up front. Fit-again Jon Stead had to settle for a place on the bench.
Jorge Grant continued in left midfield and had the game’s first chance on four minutes, controlling Matt Tootle’s cross in the area before firing the ball over under pressure. Colchester’s response brought the opening goal, Wright weaving his way into the Notts area before stroking the ball low beyond Collin in composed fashion. It was to be a busy first half for Collin, who twice had to save at the second attempt following efforts from Mikael Mandron and Kane Vincent-Young. Forte had a goal disallowed by the officials, who had spotted an infringement in the build-up, and Collin made an excellent save to deny Mandron as half-time approached.
1-0 was how it stayed going into the break but Colchester nearly doubled the lead shortly after the restart, Tom Eastman nodding the ball against the post. But the home side were left ruing their missed opportunities moments later when Forte turned home Notts’ equaliser from six yards after Shaun Brisley had done brilliantly to keep the ball alive in the middle. The defender required treatment for a head injury but was deemed fit to continue. Matty Virtue earned the game’s first booking for preventing the taking of a Colchester free-kick as the intensity dial was cranked up a notch. Virtue was the next man to have a sight at goal, latching on to a long ball over the top only to see his effort blocked by a covering defender, he was to be denied once more on 69 minutes – but this time there was a much happier conclusion he saw an effort blocked, Forte’s shot was saved on the follow-up and Ameobi turned the ball home from six yards to complete Notts’ turnaround. That was to be the big forward’s final action as he and Liam Noble made way for Stead and Michael O’Connor. The Magpies’ elation was further heightened by Duffy, who met Dan Jones’ tantalising free-kick with a perfectly executed glancing header, sending the ball into the far corner to make it 3-1. Ben Hall replaced Grant and both Stead and Elliott Hewitt saw yellow as the clock ticked down towards full-time. But Nolan’s men saw out the rest of the game in relative comfort to record back-to-back victories and leapfrog Exeter into fourth.
Colchester United: Walker, Jackson, Eastman, Prosser, Vincent-Young,Wright, Comley (Murray 77), Stevenson, Shodipo, Szmodics (Senior 72), Mandron (Ogedi-Uzokwe 72).
Notts County: Collin, Tootle, Duffy, Brisley, Jones, Virtue, (O’Connor 70), Hewitt, Grant (Hall 80), Forte, Ameobi (Stead 70).
Booked: Virtue, Hewitt, Stead.