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Jasper scores as Colchester end Exeter’s unbeaten run

Sylvester Jasper scored a fine opening goal as Colchester United ended Exeter City’s fifteen game unbeaten run tonight.

The Fulham winger scored his third goal of his impressive loan spell at the U’s to give the hosts an eleventh minute lead. He collected a clever pass from Luke Hannant, turned sharply and steered a superb shot in off the post. Noah Chilvers doubled Colchester’s lead just before the break, and although Matt Jay reduced City’s arrears midway through the second period, the evergreen Freddie Sears made sure of all three points for United sixteen minutes from time.

Jasper reflects on Bulgaria under-21 duty

Sylvester Jasper enjoyed every minute of his international duty with the Bulgarian under-21s this week and is now concentrating on knuckling down at Colchester United in order to earn another call-up.

The Fulham winger, on loan at League Two Colchester, qualifies for Bulgaria as his mother was born there and admits that the early questions from his new team-mates were all about former Fulham forward Dimitar Berbatov.

“They were all asking me ‘have I met Berbatov?’ Berbatov is an icon in Bulgaria, so everything he’s done, I kind of know about. I haven’t met him yet but it would be nice and he was a great footballer.”

Jasper feels the exposure to international football will only help him go as a footballer – and adds to his progression having impressed on loan with the U’s.

“It was very enjoyable. It’s a different environment and a different experience to football here at Colchester. You’re playing with players from all over Europe and different styles of play but I really enjoyed it. Some of the lads are in Bulgaria but there are also quite a few who play abroad, like in Germany and around Europe.

Being in a different environment with different kind of coaching and a different way of playing, you can implement it in your own game and that can only benefit you. I feel like I represented Colchester and myself well, so I’m happy. Playing for your country is a proud moment. Playing at the Euros and the World Cup are two of my dreams, so hopefully I can do that.”

The teenage winger, who has made sixteen appearances during his loan spell so far, is now concentrating on continuing his excellent club form – starting with the trip to Stevenage tomorrow.

“I feel like I’m probably in one of my best patches of form, since I’ve been here. I feel like I’m playing more regularly which is a big thing and I’m playing well, affecting games and scoring goals. I want to keep doing that and I have to keep my head grounded and have tunnel vision.

“I just have to keep doing what I’m doing. The AFC Sudbury game was on TV so I know a lot of people would have been watching it. It was good to make a good first impression to a lot of people who maybe haven’t seen me play. As long as I’m helping the team and the club do well, along with helping myself and my development, I’m happy.”

Fulham U23s held at Colchester

Fulham’s under 23s were held to a goalless draw by a spirited Colchester United side in their latest Premier League Cup group fixture this evening.

Steve Wigley’s side, disrupted by several international call-ups, made much of the early running but were denied the advantage their enterprising play merited by a string of superb saves from Colchester goalkeeper Ted Collins. The U’s custodian used his feet to deny Jean-Pierre Tiehi after a quarter of an hour and then got fingertips to a low Sonny Hilton strike as the visitors threatened just before the interval. The hosts’ clearest opening came courtesy of Chay Cooper who latched onto a clever ball from Bryan Ifeanyi but shot wide of goal.

Fulham began the second period on the front foot with a brilliant sliding challenge from full back Emmanuel Martins preventing Hilton from converting Tiehi’s cross. Collins saved with his legs again to deny Kieron Bowie when the former Raith Rovers forward appeared poised to put the Londoners in front from another Tiehi cut back before Dibley-Dias, so impressive on his first start for the under 23s at Burnley last week, crashed a venomous drive against the crossbar from 25 yards.

Hilton hit the post with a low drive from distance and Tiehi nearly scored with the follow up, but Colchester weren’t clinging on for dear life by any means. The introduction of substitute Tom Stagg seemed to enliven the hosts as he came close to converting a dangerous cross from Al-Amin Kazeem and then saw a deflected shot drop just wide of the past. Fabri was called into action with five minutes to play as Dave Huzzey’s men finished strongly – the Spaniard palmed away a long-range drive from Martins – and Marley Miranda drove fractionally over deep into stoppage time.

The stalemate means Fulham remain top of Group H on seven points from three games, with the U’s in second place on five points.

COLCHESTER UNITED UNDER 23s (4-5-1): Collins; Kazeem, Martins, Cracknell, Beadle; Cornish, Miranda, Ifeanyi (Trialist 63), Cooper, Thomas; McCoulsky (Stagg 63). Subs (not used): Terry, Lowe, Johnson.

BOOKED: Miranda.

FULHAM UNDER 23s (4-2-3-1): Fabri; Williams (Tanton 69), Larkeche, Odutayo, C. Robinson; Pajaziti, Lanquedoc; Hilton, Dibley-Dias, Bowie; Tiehi. Subs (not used): McNally, McCoy-Splatt, Wildbore, Sanderson.

Larkeche, Bowie, Odutayo, Hilton.

Jasper earns Bulgaria U21 call up

Fulham forward Sylvester Jasper has been called up to the Bulgarian under-21 squad for the first time this afternoon.

The teenager, currently on loan at League Two Colchester United, was born in London to a Bulgarian mother. Jasper has been named in Alexander Dimitrov’s squad for two European U21 Championship qualifiers against the Netherlands on November 12 and Moldova on November 16.

The nineteen year-old left winger made his professional debut as a substitute in the 4-0 FA Cup defeat at Manchester City in January 2020. He made two further substitutes’ appearances after scoring eight goals in seventeen appearances at under 23 level and signed a three-year contract at Craven Cottage. Jasper joined Colchester on loan in August has made twelve appearances for the U’s and scored a late winner to beat Harrogate last month, which was his first senior goal.

Jasper makes strong start at Colchester

Fulham winger Sylvester Jasper has made a strong start to his loan spell with Colchester United.

The teenager has put the disappointment of an unsuccessful pre-season trial at Sheffield Wednesday behind him quickly to shine for the Essex outfit, starring on his first start in the League Cup at Birmingham in midweek and looking lively in his first senior league start during Saturday’s narrow home defeat to Northampton Town.

The Daily Gazette reporter Jon Waldron has an excellent interview with the highly-rated winger here.