Ward hails his players after dominant win

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward hailed his side to a man following a dominant 2-0 win over Walsall.

A first half David Perkins goal and a second half David Mooney penalty sealed the win but it could have been so much more for the U’s who hit the woodwork twice, had three goalbound efforts cleared off the line and forced numerous saves out of former Colchester keeper Jimmy Walker.

The win – their fourth in succession at The Weston Homes Community Stadium – moves them back to within four points of the play-off places.

“It was excellent,” said Ward, who made four changes to his side following their 2-0 midweek loss at Notts County.

“It was a full 90 minutes of endeavour, big-hearted football and loads of energy. If we’d put another three or four goals away I don’t think they could have complained about it.”

He continued: “It was a heck of a start, a fast start, both teams going at each other and a very open game. Credit to Walsall for coming here and going at us, we knew that they would because they need points. But so do we, for different reasons, and we’ve put a real energised performance together today for the whole game.”

Ian Henderson had a one-on-one saved and Walsall defender Oliver Lancashire headed against his own post in the opening four minutes before the visitors came back into the game and forced two good saves out of Ben Williams.

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“I cast my mind back to Tuesday night a little bit when that happened,” said Ward. “We’d had early chances then and didn’t put any away and I thought ‘not again’.”

It didn’t turn out that way though as the U’s went on to win by more than one goal for only the second time this season and record their first clean sheet in seven matches.

“I’m pleased that we’ve put two away today, albeit one of them a penalty, but there were certainly a lot of chances for us to score more,” said Ward.

“I’m not so sure it was a penalty. I’ll say what I see and I’m not sure it was a penalty but what can we do? We can’t not take it can we?

“The two goals today get us the win but we’ve still got to keep working on being a little bit more clinical.

“That’s a really harsh grumble from me today though, I think it’s been a fantastic game of football and the three and a half thousand people here will have enjoyed it.

“It’s a great clean sheet which we’re not renowned for so overall it’s a great afternoon.

“Everyone’s had a good game today and that justifies the changes I’ve made a bit.”

– Full report, ratings and reaction in Monday’s EADT.

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