New boy earns Kewell plaudits following six-goal thriller

Date published: 05 October 2020

Latics boss Harry Kewell saluted new boy Dylan Bahamboula after the Congo international played a 'big' part in Saturday's 3-3 thriller at Colchester.

Bahamboula, snapped up on the eve of the game, came on as a substitute at half-time in deepest Essex and helped Kewell's side come back from 2-0 and 3-2 behind before snatching their first League Two point of the season, at the fourth attempt.

“It was definitely a game of emotions," said Kewell following Conor McAleny's late leveller.

“In the first half, we had an idea of what we wanted to do and in moments, we did it.

“But I thought their movement in the first half was excellent and they caused us a lot of problems, especially when they went forward.

“I thought when we did break through their lines in the final third and delivery wasn’t right and if that’s not right, what chance have you got to score?

“But then in the second half, we changed the formation and a few things around and we got at them.

“I thought Dylan was excellent – we call him big Dylan because his last name is very hard to pronounce at the moment but I’ll get there!

“He brought something different in funny terms that no-one’s seen.

“It opened up the game and we got back into it very early on in the second half, which was excellent.

“Conor (McAleny) kept his nerve and I felt we were on the front foot then.

“I didn’t feel that Colchester had a reply.

“I was surprised that we got it back to 2-2 so early and then Colchester kind of drifted back into the game.

“Their right-back (Miles Welch-Hayes) got another fantastic goal I felt but our heads didn’t drop – we still worked it and created and had opportunities.

“We got the third goal and I’d love to say that maybe if we’d had a little bit longer, we could have maybe nicked it.”

The U's went ahead in the 27th minute through Ben Stevenson, who controlled Callum Harriott's pass well before lifting the ball skilfully past 'keeper Ian Lawlor.

And the hosts doubled their lead in the 37th minute when Harriott scored from the spot after McAleny handled Cohen Bramall's shot in the box.

Latics pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute when McAleny netted from the penalty spot, after Bramall had fouled Bahamboula in the area.

And they equalised two minutes later through defender Carl Piergianni, who fired in from close range after McAleny had flicked on Jordan Barnett's corner.

The hosts regained their lead in the 65th minute when defender Welch-Hayes' looping header flew in following Stevenson's cross.

But gutsy Latics were not to be denied as McAleny slammed home from 10 yards.

Latics return to action tomorrow night (Tuesday) when they host Doncaster Rovers in an EFL Trophy group stage fixture.

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