Colchester United 3 Crawley Town 1: Carl Marston’s 5 Talking Points
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Colchester United reporter Carl Marston puts forward five talking points from today’s 3-1 home win over Crawley Town.
The U’s three full debutants all played key roles in this big win.
Ryan Inniss, a surprise inclusion following a recent knee injury, operated in the sweeper’s role.
The Crystal Palace loanee was a big presence in the U’s return to a three-man defence, despite conceding a second-half penalty, which Sam Walker saved.
Inniss nearly scored himself, and also made an important goal-line clearance together with fellow defender Tom Eastman.
Brandon Comley was busy in midfield, and had a hand in the third goal, while Nicke Kabamba enjoyed his debut up front and should prove a good foil for Mikael Mandron up top.
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The U’s missed four good chances during the 1-0 defeat at Cambridge United last weekend, but they made no mistake in front of goal today.
Sammie Szmodics set the trend with his ninth minute opener, although he could have had a hat-trick inside those first 45 minutes.
Ryan Jackson’s 14th minute striker was a real pearler, and Mikael Mandron was in the right place to nod home the third.
Although the U’s don’t appear to have an out-and-out goalscorer in their ranks, they have so many different attacking options.
Szmodics now has four goals to his name, while Jackson has a lethal shot on him. Mandron and Kabamba should get goals together as well.
The curious home-away divide continues.
The U’s have lost their first three away games of this season, and have only won once on the road throughout 2017, at Leyton Orient in April.
Yet at home, they have still only lost twice in the league throughout this year, at the hands of Portsmouth and ironically today’s opponents Crawley.
They are brimming with confidence at the Community Stadium, as reflected in the positive way in which they start their home matches.
Sam Walker pulled off some fine saves in the second half to ensure that there would be no Crawley comeback.
He saved Mark Randall’s penalty, and also denied Jimmy Smith a second goal with a fantastic block at point blank range.
Certainly, Walker appears to be back to his best.
Despite their dreadful away form, the U’s should be able to mount another play-off push this term.
Once again they have injuries galore – Sean Murray is the latest player to go down, with a hip problem – hence he did not play this weekend.
But the U’s do have a big squad, thanks to all of those transfer deadline day signings.
Inniss should be key at the back, a calming influence and a big voice.
The signs are good – roll on the visit of Chesterfield on Tuesday evening.