Tuesday 8 December 2015, 7:00pm at Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester
Colchester United U21s
Regis 48'
Fulham FC
Fulham U21s
Kačaniklić 36'; O'Halloran 56'; Woodrow 87'

48' Goal

Chris Regis

36' Goal

Alexander Kačaniklić

56' Goal

Dean O'Halloran

87' Goal

Cauley Woodrow

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Luca de la Torre
Off:Mattias Kait

67' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ryheem Sheckleford
Off:Jazz Richards

67' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ian Pino Soler
Off:Jack Grimmer

Goals from Alex Kačaniklić, Dean O'Halloran and Cauley Woodrow earned Fulham U21s victory in the Premier League Cup on Tuesday.

Fulham Under-21s put in a dominant performance to progress through to the next round of the U21 Premier League Cup following a 3-1 win over Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on a chilly Tuesday evening.

A thumping first half strike from Alexander Kačaniklić, a Dean O’Halloran goal following a fortuitous Colchester equaliser and a Cauley Woodrow effort earned the victory in a free flowing encounter.

Peter Grant, on his return to Head Coach duties of the Under-21s, named a strong side featuring numerous first team players including Jazz Richards, Dan Burn, Sean Kavanagh, Kačaniklić and Woodrow. The match also saw the welcome return of Jack Grimmer, taking part in his first match following four months on the sidelines through injury.

It was Fulham who started the brightest. After some tidy hold up play from Woodrow, Emerson Hyndman carved out some space for himself on the edge of the Colchester box and fired a low drive just wide. A vocal Grant in the Fulham dugout urged Fulham to work the ball wider and Richards was a constant outlet in the opening stages.

Fulham continued to press, utilising the overlap on either flank to overload Colchester and force errors through a high press. In the 17th minute a perfect inswinging corner from Josh Smile eluded everyone and went just wide at the back post. Hyndman was finding pockets of space all across the pitch and minutes later a Kačaniklić cross found Mattias Kait unmarked at the back post but his header was well saved by James Bransgrove.

The breakthrough eventually came with the match petering out towards half-time. Kačaniklić picked up the ball just inside the opposition half and remained unchallenged. With no pressure emerging from a backtracking Colchester defence he unleashed a vicious drive from 23 yards out which crashed in off the underside of the bar with Bransgrove stranded helplessly in the Colchester net.

Fulham remained completely in control and pressed all the way up to the half-time whistle with Woodrow going close on two occasions with a visibly rattled Colchester unit struggling to get any foothold in the game.

The dominance continued from the first kick in the second half, with Hyndman pouncing on a stray pass out and offloading to an open Kačaniklić on the edge of the box. He put his shot a fraction wide of the left hand post.

However, Colchester were back level two minutes later. With no options either side of him, Chris Regis had an effort deflected in past a stranded Marek Rodák.

Fulham did not let their heads drop, though, and hit back immediately through O'Halloran. A Hyndman free-kick was parried wide earning a corner. From the resulting set-piece a teasing cross found its way through the crowd to O’Halloran at the near post, who reacted well to slot home.

On his return, Grimmer was replaced with 20 minutes remaining after a stellar display. Grimmer and Burn had been untroubled for large parts of the match and his distribution was excellent.

With the temperature dropping further Fulham remained in firm control. A short corner allowed Kavanagh to whip in a looping cross. Woodrow climbed above the defender but was unable to get enough purchase to hit the target. Woodrow was involved once again a minute later as his low shot was palmed wide for a corner following more lovely build up play and another outstanding Smile cross was scrambled clear.

With the clock ticking down Woodrow got a deserved goal following some brilliant work and tireless running throughout the match. He was played through on the counter and with only the keeper to beat he opened up his body and curved his shot into the bottom right hand corner. The move capped off a well-rounded and solid performance on the road which sees them through to the next round.

Match Information

Competition: U21 Premier League Cup

Date: Tuesday 8 December 2015
Kick-off: 7:00pm

Venue: Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester

Colchester United U21s

Line-up: Bransgrove; Vincent-Young, Partridge, James (c), Olufemi; Sembie-Ferris, Garvan, Regis, Wright; Curtis, Bonne

Unused substitutes: Robinson, Dunne, Andrens, Akinwande, Wright

Fulham U21s

Line-up: Rodàk; Richards (Sheckleford 67'), Grimmer (Pino Soler 67'), Burn, Kavanagh; Hyndman, Smile; O'Halloran, Kait (de la Torre 45'), Kačaniklić; Woodrow

Unused substitutes: Soutter, Elworthy

Colchester United U21s (4-4-2)
  • 1James Bransgrove
  • 2Kane Vincent-Young
  • 5Jacob Partridge
  • 6Cameron James (c)
  • 3Tosin Olufemi
  • 7Dion Sembie-Ferris
  • 4Owen Garvan
  • 8Chris Regis
  • 11Drey Wright
  • 10Jack Curtis
  • 9Macaulay Bonne
  • 12Callum Robinson
  • 15Louis Dunne
  • 16Marley Andrens
  • 17Femi Akinwande
  • 19Diaz Wright
Fulham U21s (4-2-3-1)
  • 1Marek Rodàk
  • 2Jazz Richards
  • 6Jack Grimmer
  • 5Dan Burn
  • 3Sean Kavanagh
  • 8Emerson Hyndman
  • 4Josh Smile
  • 7Dean O'Halloran
  • 10Mattias Kait
  • 11Alexander Kačaniklić
  • 9Cauley Woodrow
  • 12Jake Soutter
  • 14Ian Pino Soler
  • 15Shane Elworthy
  • 16Ryheem Sheckleford
  • 17Luca de la Torre