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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Colchester United 3 Crawley Town 1: Carl Marston’s Final Verdict

PUBLISHED: 06:00 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 07:49 11 September 2017

Mikael Mandron celebrates after netting the U's third goal, before half-time, in the 3-1 win over Crawley.  Picture: STEVE WALLER

Mikael Mandron celebrates after netting the U's third goal, before half-time, in the 3-1 win over Crawley. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Colchester United, at home, are unrecognisable from the Colchester United who stumble from one defeat to the next on the road.

Ryan Jackson celebrates after rifling home the U's second goal against Crawley. Picture: STEVE WALLERRyan Jackson celebrates after rifling home the U's second goal against Crawley. Picture: STEVE WALLER

There was so much to enthuse over, following Saturday’s heart-warming 3-1 home success over Harry Kewell’s Crawley Town.

The U’s took their chances, in the first half, and then soaked up some pressure in the second to boost their points tally to seven from six fixtures – all seven have been gathered on home territory.

And all this was achieved despite an ever-lengthening injury crisis.

In addition to long-term victims Brennan Dickenson, Kurtis Guthrie, Luke Prosser, Craig Slater and Doug Loft, the influential Kyel Reid remained absent with a hip flexor injury and Sean Murray failed to feature due to a hip problem.

Mikael Mandron is all smiles as he celebrates after scoring his second goal for the U's, since his summer move from Wigan. Picture: STEVE WALLERMikael Mandron is all smiles as he celebrates after scoring his second goal for the U's, since his summer move from Wigan. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Youngsters Tariq Issa and Courtney Senior are also regulars in the treatment room at the moment, after their respective cameo appearances this season.

But the U’s, thanks to a productive transfer deadline day on August 31, when five new players were recruited, do have strength in depth.

They certainly had more than enough to cope with a Crawley side who had won their last two league matches, even though the Red Devils were their bogey team – the U’s had never beaten them, in nine previous meetings.

That all changed on Saturday, thanks to a one-sided first half.

Livewire Sammie Szmodics broke the deadlock with his fourth goal of the season, on nine minutes. The excellent Ryan Jackson provided the cross, and Szmodics’ superb volley flew into the net via the inside of a post.

It was a lethal finish by Szmodics, and he returned the favour by setting up team-mate Jackson for the U’s second just five minutes later.

- Carl’s Marston’s Player Ratings

The onrushing Szmodics laid the ball into the path of Jackson, who connected sweetly with a shot that flew like a bullet past keeper Glenn Morris. It was Jackson’s first goal for the U’s.

Mikael Mandron ensured that the U’s went into the break at 3-0 up. Mandron headed home from point blank range, to celebrate his second goal for the Essex club, after Frankie Kent had headed Brandon Comley’s cross into the six-yard box.

It was all-change in the second half, in terms of momentum, although Crawley never got themselves into a position to threaten a full recovery.

Sam Walker saved Mark Randall’s penalty, early in the 52nd minute, but could not prevent Jimmy Smith from stabbing in a 65th minute corner.

But, buoyed by Walker’s wonder save to deny Smith a second on 76 minutes, the U’s held on to record their second win of the season.

Captain Luke Chambers wants his Ipswich Town future sorted sooner rather than later but knows the club’s precarious position means he may have to be patient.

Paul Lambert believes striker Ellis Harrison has something to offer his side as the Welshman works towards full fitness.

Callum Connolly expects to take on an Ipswich Town side ‘playing with freedom’ when he makes his return to Portman Road tomorrow afternoon.

Oxford United boss Karl Robinson wants to sign Ipswich Town loanee Jordan Graham as soon as the January transfer window opens.

Ipswich Town take on a Wigan Athletic side including a number of familiar faces tomorrow. ANDY WARREN takes a look.

Ipswich Town’s East Anglian Derby visit to Norwich City will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Today we start a special countdown to Christmas, Ipswich Town style, with the 12 Greats of Christmas - a rundown of the 12 greatest Town players who’ve ever laced on boots, culminating on the big day itself with the Blues’ best-ever.

Ipswich Town have taken up their option to extend Freddie Sears’ contract until the summer of 2020.

Jon Nolan is back in the team under Paul Lambert. STUART WATSON spoke to the midfielder about Paul Hurst’s sacking, stepping up to the Championship and the visit of Wigan.

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