Gallery: Super U's win out in five-goal thriller

Colchester United 3 Swindon Town 2COLCHESTER United won a five-goal thriller, at the expense of relegation-haunted Swindon Town, to bolster their faint play-off hopes.

Carl Marston

Colchester United 3 Swindon Town 2

COLCHESTER United won a five-goal thriller, at the expense of relegation-haunted Swindon Town, to bolster their faint play-off hopes last night.

A brace of quality headers from Clive Platt twice gave United the lead, only for spirited Swindon to respond with equalisers.

But Danny Wilson's men had no answer to a snap shot from David Perkins, with 18 minutes remaining. Perkins' instinctive shot flew in via the inside of the near post.

This stretched the U's unbeaten run to five games, with three wins and two draws. Their late surge for a top six finish is therefore still alive.

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It took the U's, and Platt in particular, just 108 seconds to break the deadlock in the 1-0 win at Oldham on Saturday, and the breakthrough was even quicker last night.

A mere 48 seconds were on the clock when an in-form Platt headed home the opening goal against Swindon. The U's No. 9 rose unmarked to meet Simon Hackney's cross with a towering header that keeper Peter Brezovan could not prevent from flying into the roof of his net. The big Slovakian got his hands to the ball, but it was to no avail.

United blew numerous chances to add to their lead, and they were made to pay as the Robins weathered the storm and poached an equaliser from the penalty spot in the 38th minute.

It was a clear-cut penalty. Chris Coyne upended Billy Paynter with a badly-timed challenge inside the box, and leading scorer Simon Cox drilled home the spot kick past Mark Cousins, who guessed wrong with his dive.

However, the game swung United's way again in the last minute of the first period, with Platt again the hero. Keeper Brezovan could only half punch away a deflected cross, and when Kem Izzet lifted the ball back into the danger zone, the giant figure of Platt directed his header into an unguarded net.

The pendulum continued to swing backwards and forwards in the second half. Reading loanee Hal Robson-Kanu appeared to have rescued a point for the Wiltshire side with a stunning long-range shot to make it 2-2 in the 65th minute.

But the U's had the last laugh. Perkins blasted home a 72nd minute winner to consolidate United's position in the top 10.

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