Fleetwood 2 Colchester 3

Jeff Hughes returns for Fleetwood
Jeff Hughes returns for Fleetwood
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Fleetwood Town threw away a hard-earned lead and handed Colchester United the chance of League One survival on an afternoon of late drama at Highbury.

The hosts found themselves under increasing pressure before the break - Chris Maxwell playing as big a part as any in keeping the scores level.

He was on hand to tip Jacob Murphy’s cross out of the danger zone when Tyler Forbes had been beaten down the Fleetwood right.

And he pulled off a superb save to deny Gavin Massey, whose blistering volley looked set to sneak in at the near post.

Town were still struggling to carve out openings but might have taken the lead when Ashley Hunter’s snap shot found Jamie Proctor at the back post - the striker volleying rather than heading, his finish more like a clearance.

It was level at the break but with Fleetwood napping from the restart, the Us grabbed the lead.

Murphy tricked his way past Nathan Pond, sliding a low cross into the six yard box for George Moncur to turn home.

Fleetwood looked at sixes and sevens but a double substitution brought them right back into the game.

Josh Morris and David Ball had barely been on for a minute when they combined to set up Jamie Proctor for an equaliser.

Morris skipped past a challenge on the edge of the box, crossing for Ball who couldn’t get his shot away, selflessly picking out Proctor who, back to goal, turned and fired under Colchester keeper Sam Walker.

And Town were soon ahead, Ball and Proctor combining again.

Proctor’s spotted his strike partner’s run, looping a pass over the last man.

One-on-one with Walker Ball showed superb composure, picking his moment to smash the ball home.

That shoudl have been that.

But a mistake from Chris Maxwell provided one final, unwelcome twist.

The keeper misjudged the flight of a Gavin Massey cross, the ball squirming under his body and into the back of the net.

And then the big moment for the Us.

From the restart Dion Sembie Ferris charged into the Fleetwood box, felled by Nathan Pond Colchester were awarded a penalty, converted by Porter high to the right of Maxwell and sparking a pitch invasion from the visiting fans who may yet be visiting Highbury again next season.