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Report, highlights & reaction: Colchester Utd 1-3 Morecambe

Photo credit: Jack Taylor

JJ McKiernan scored a hat trick as ten-men Shrimps beat Colchester in a superb away performance in League Two.

Click here for highlights, reaction and more in The Shrimps Verdict podcast

A bright start for the Shrimps saw Jordan Slew latch onto a fine through ball from Adam Mayor before striking the post on four minutes. 

Michael Mellon then came within a whisker of opening the scoring on 13 minutes. Tom Bloxham’s cross was dragged wide of the far post.

The Shrimps were completely dominant and deservedly took the lead just after the 20 minute mark.

Bloxham won a corner, and Adam Mayor’s pinpoint delivery was met in the middle by McKiernan whose bullet header found the back of the net.

It was nearly a second for the Shrimps after Mayor latched onto an excellent ball forward, but his effort was just off target, before Jordan Slew saw a fierce strike from distance saved.

Against the run of play, United were then presented with a rare opportunity as Taylor raced through one on one from the left, but Stuart Moore made a superb save at close range.

With 10 minutes of normal time to play in the first half, defender James Connolly became the fourth Morecambe player in seven games to be sent off, following an off the ball incident with United forward Samson Tovide.

Moore was called into action five minutes into the second half after Taylor struck at goal, though it lacked the power to test the Shrimps’ number one.

McKiernan then scored twice in eight second half minutes to give ten-men Shrimps a huge advantage.

On 53 minutes, another Mayor corner caused pandemonium in the visitors box, United couldn’t clear and there was McKiernan to slot home.

Just eight minutes later, the Northern Irish U21 international completed his hat-trick in emphatic fashion. Morecambe broke, and Donald Love fed McKiernan inside his own half. The midfielder was allowed to run all the way to the edge of the area before burying a low right footed effort in to the corner of Owen Goodman’s goal, for his first ever senior hat trick.

The home side pulled one back through McGeehan on 73 minutes after a cross into the mix wasn’t dealt with before the Colchester man headed home at point blank range.

There was then more late drama, as in the first minute of second half added time, United were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Noah Chivers who skied the ball over Moore’s bar, to round off a miserable afternoon for the hosts.

Colchester United: Goodman, Hall ©, Tovide (Hopper, 65’), Chilvers, McGeehan, Mitchell (Cooper, 65’), Egbo, Mingi (Ihionvien, 57’), Taylor, Kazeem (Bandeira, 82’), Fevrier.

Subs not used: Smith, Greenidge, Kennedy.

Goals: McGeehan (73’).

Bookings: Mitchell.

Red cards: None.

Morecambe: Moore, Love ©, Tutonda, Bedeau, Bloxham (Songo’o, 45’), Mellon (Walker, 72’), McKiernan (C Smith, 87’), Mayor (Davenport, 87’), Senior, Slew (Rawson, 45’), Connolly.

Subs not used: A Smith, Brown.

Goals: McKiernan (21’, 53’, 61’).

Bookings: Mayor, McKiernan, Tutonda, Love, Senior.

Red cards: Connolly.

Attendance: 3,350 (116).

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