A life-changing day for U’s

Tom Eastman celebrates giving the U's a precious two-goal lead at Carlisle with a second-half header

Tom Eastman celebrates giving the U's a precious two-goal lead at Carlisle with a second-half header - Credit: Archant

THE U’s are staying up!

Colchester United boss, Joe Dunne, admitted that his side’s 2-0 win at Carlisle on Saturday, to avoid relegation, was “a life-changing day.”

The U’s had needed a point from this final day trip to Cumbria, to guarantee their League One status.

Relegation rivals Scunthorpe were breathing down their necks, and two late goals for Iron wrapped up a 3-1 home win over Swindon.

However, Iron’s effort was in vain, because second-half goals from Gavin Massey and Tom Eastman had already ensured that the U’s would be staying in the third tier.

Cue the celebrations!

“This has been a life-changing day,” insisted a delighted Dunne.

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“I wanted the club to be strong and brave, and get the basis for next season to kick on.

“It is an immense feeling, to be the manager and to keep us in League One. But I want to build on that.

“We’ve been under a lot of stress and pressure, so we should celebrate coming through that to stay up.

“We stood up to the challenge and have achieved something today.

“You can take credit for that, like in a promotion. I’m glad we have come through it intact. We never gave up – we kept believing.

“We had our doubts along the way, and had a lot of ups and downs, but we all stuck together.

“I’m so pleased for the effort of the players, including those who didn’t even play today, because it was a life-changing day,” confirmed Dunne.

Club chairman and owner, Robbie Cowling, had cycled all the way up to Carlisle, from Essex, a distance of more than 300 miles, as the climax to his own season-long challenge to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity.

But Cowling was feeling no pain, or exhaustion, after Saturday’s final whistle.

“This result is massive for Colchester United.

“It’s massive to avoid relegation, and it allows us to leap forward,” said Cowling.

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