Danns gets U's back on track

NEIL Danns fired Colchester United to within one point of the League One automatic promotion zone, thanks to a sweet late brace against visiting Hartlepool last night.

NEIL Danns fired Colchester United to within one point of the League One automatic promotion zone, thanks to a sweet late brace against visiting Hartlepool last night, writes Carl Marston.

It was a case of better late than never for the U's, as Danns boosted his goal-tally for the season to 16 with strikes in the 84th and 90th minutes.

Danns nodded home Mark Yeates' cross to break the deadlock, and then swept home into an empty net following Billy Clarke's pass in the last minute of normal time.

“I'm just so relieved. We really deserved this win,” enthused Danns last night.

“We have finally got the goals that our performances have deserved in recent weeks. We murdered Brentford, but only got a draw, and we were very unlucky to lose at Nottingham Forest (1-0) to a fluke goal.

“But it has all come together tonight. Lady luck was finally on our side, and we can all feel that the confidence has returned.

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“The ball fell on my head for the first one, and the second one came right to my feet. They were just the sort of chances that I needed to start scoring again.

“We needed someone to step up to the plate, and get us back to winning ways, and I felt that all the lads did that in this game.

“I thought we were unbelievable in the first-half. We had so many chances, but we kept believing that it would all come right.

“After the defeat at Nottingham Forest last weekend, we were treating it as a six-game season. We've won the first one, and our season is back on track,” added Danns.

Relegation-haunted Hartlepool struck the woodwork three times, and they also had defender Darren Williams sent off for a second bookable offence on the hour mark.

But United deserved their success. Manager Phil Parkinson said: “We continually cut them up, and we never stopped believing that the goals would come.

“Neil Danns was our spark. He gave us that moment of inspiration that got us the victory.”

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