CHAY Cooper experienced an eventful afternoon as Colchester United's under-21s drew 2-2 at Millwall, writes BRIAN WALLER.

Cooper scored one goal and made another for Liam Bailey's side, before being sent off after the final whistle for something he said to the referee.

It was the first time that Colchester's under-21s had avoided defeat for six months, in the Professional Development League.

The U's controlled the opening minutes but Millwall almost scored when they broke quickly after a failed U's set piece and Abdul Abdulmalik’s touch was too heavy, allowing goalkeeper Tom Smith to gather.

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However, the Lions went ahead after 22 minutes through Raees Bangura-Williams, who controlled and swivelled before firing into the net from the edge of the box.

Smith saved from Frankie Hvid as Millwall pushed for a second and Boateng should have made it 2-0 when Smith tipped his shot over the bar, following Hearn’s defence-splitting pass.

Colchester sent on Bayan Aman for Jet Dyer at half-time but Millwall had a whole series of chances falling to Boateng, Abdulmalik and Bangura Williams.

But the U’s defence held on as Frankie Edwards blocked well.


Bangura-Williams was denied but out of the blue on 68 minutes, Colchester equalised through Cooper after he was released by substitute Kennedy Mupomba’s pass.

Millwall restored their lead with eight minutes remaining when Bangura-Williams netted, despite the best efforts of Smith and Aman on the goal-line.

However, Colchester quickly levelled again four minutes later through recent signing Hakeem Sandah after Millwall keeper George Evans had spilled Cooper’s shot.

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Cooper was given his marching orders after the final whistle but the U's youngsters claimed a draw.

Colchester United U21: Tom Smith, Elkanah Akor, Frankie Edwards, Bailey Berry, Jet Dyer (sub Bayan Aman), Marley Marshall Miranda, Max Jolliffe, Chay Cooper, Trialist (sub Trialist), Oscar Thorn (sub Kennedy Mupomba), Hakeem Sandah. Subs (not used): Archie Oliver, Harrison Chamberlain.