Date: 26th August 2006 at 10:21pm
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Derby County have never won at Layer Road, and with the U`s in fine form today that stat was never going to change. Jamie Cureton collected an early birthday present claiming the match ball for what is his eighth hatrick of his career.

The last time the teams met was back in the FA Cup in January the U`s winning 3-1 on the day with Goals from Danns (2) and aussie Richard Garcia.

This was the first ever league meeting of these two clubs and the U`s set out their stall early, attacking almost from the start.

Cureton had his first chance on goal within 3 minutes after receiving a cross from defender Wayne Brown only to see his effort go past the post, witin a couple of minutes Cureton again found himself in space, shooting over, when a pass to Duguid would have been better placed.

Derby could not get out of their half; they had a found a Colchester side in attacking mood and penned back, the only rest bite was long clearances to Steve Howard, who was being closely marshaled by the Colchester back four.

Howard did come close only to see his header easily collected by Davison in the Colchester Goal.

Back at the other end Colchester continued to attack with flair, with Cureton seeing his shot crash off the crossbar after a corner from Watson was flicked on by Garcia with Derby keeper Lee camp well beaten.

This only seemed to spur the home side on, with Cureton soon collecting his first of the match after Duguid`s throw was missed by the Rams defence, Cureton had time to pick his spot making sure.

It seemed that the game had only just restarted when the Derby keeper was picking the ball out of the back of the net yet again, Kevin Watson took a free kick after a cynical foul on Izzet, Cureton came in at the back post to power what was a fantastic header past the despairing dive of Lee Camp.

Colchester continued to attack the Derby goal with Halford and Baldwin both coming close. However against the run of play derby did manage to haul themselves back into the game failing to close down the visitors on the edge of the area, tricky Italian Arturo Lupoli fired a tame shot through the legs of a home defender catching a deflection on the way and past the despairing dive of Aidan Davison.

This did nothing to put the U`s off of their game plan and Iwelumo nearly made it three with a thundering header that lee camp managed to palm away.

Half Time: Colchester 2 Derby 1

Colchester came out to the second half in the same way the had played almost all of the first, seeing a break was on Aidan Davison quickly released Richard Garcia with an excellent throw, the aussie ran down the right breaking into the box only to be bundled over by Nyantanga, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Scottish striker Chris Iwelumo stepped up to send the Derby keeper the wrong way to further the home side`s advantage. The U`s were cruising and nothing seemed to be going right for the visitors, their play seemed to go from bad to worse.

Colchester scored their fourth and Curetons 3rd of the game after he latched onto an Iwelumo flick on to lob the ball past Lee Camp to make it 4-1.

The U`s were not finished yet, with 15mins to go and cruising the home side continued to search for more goals, with the busy Kemal Izzet having a shot saved by Lee camp.

Whilst on the attack U`s Skipper Karl Duguid lost the ball half way into the Derby half, the ball found its way through to Arsenal loanee Arturo Lupoli who proceeded to collect his second goal of the game.

With Substitute Paul Peschisolido grabbing another on 89 minutes, he set up a nail biting last few minutes to game that Colchester should have won by a larger margin.

The score line flattered the visitors who in complete contrast to their hosts have spent a lot of money on players in the summer, not only was this a welcome win, it was thoroughly deserved. With a two week break for internationals, the management team of Geriant Williams and Mick Harford can work on the individual errors that in the past weeks have cost us dear, and indeed could have cost us again today.

Player Ratings

Aidan Davison. – 6
Could have done better with two of Derbys Goal, however quick release to Garcia help pave way for the Penalty.

Wayne Brown – 7
Dealt well with the presence of Steve Howard, however has to shoulder some of the blame for Derbys first goal, he had a chance to block earlier.

Pat Baldwin – 7
Was’nt fazed by Steve Howard, helped Brown to smother his threat out of the game.

Chris Barker – 7
Caught out once or twice early on, however soon made up for his mistaks.

Greg Halford – 8
An absolute cracking display for what could be his last in a Colchester shirt, outshone many others on the pitch, seems to be back to his best.

Kem Izzet – 7
Battling tenacious display from Kemal again today, helped to disrupt the flow of the Derby Midfield always snapping at their heels. Great blocking challenge in first half.

Kevin Watson – 7
Would of scored higher if it wasnt for a hospital pass that Baldwin, done well to clear away a goal bound effort early on in first half.

Karl Duguid – 7
Apart from the mistake that led to the Derby second goal, had a fair game, seems to fade in and out.

Richard Garcia – 7
Absolute cracking 50 yard run to win the penalty, Richard looks a handful, another one coming back into form after a quiet couple of weeks.

Chris Iwelumo – 7
Did what Howard could not the other end, made a complete nuisance of himself, seems to take a battering from opposing central defenders, put himself around and took the penalty well.

Jamie Cureton – 9**
Star man Cureton went home with his eighth hatrick of his career in the bag and the match ball, totaly deserves all the plaudits today, the Derby defence could not handle his all action display. Great early birthday present for Monday.

John White – 6
Came on to shore things up late on, wasnt up to the speed of the game quickily enough, seemed confused at the job in hand.

Jamie Guy – 6
Loan man up front for last 10, didnt get much of the ball or any chance to shine.

Manager Rating
Great game for Geriant today, can understand why he would go defensive and employ 4-5-1 for the last 10, however nearly backfired.

Opponent Rating
Saw his team given a lesson in football for most of the game, very one dimensional play, take Howard out of the game and they struggle.