COLCHESTER United travel to Brunton Park this weekend for the first time since their memorable win there on the final day of last season.

And defender Tom Eastman knows that the U’s vital 2-0 victory at Carlisle United last April was a career-defining moment.

Eastman bagged Colchester’s second goal in their crucial triumph, which saw them preserve their League One status and send Scunthorpe United down.

Nine months on, Joe Dunne and his squad make the 700-mile round trip back up to Cumbria in a more comfortable position in the league table.

But Eastman is fully aware that had it not been for their pivotal win there last season, the U’s would have been battling it out in the division below.

Eastman said: “None of us wanted to be League Two players and it was a big win for the club.

“Those kind of games can make or break a career and it was massive to stay up on the last day of last season.

“It was a big win for us and I got myself a goal, which was quite nice.

“Hopefully we can do the same again, keep another clean sheet and get another three points.

“It was a bit nervy at 0-0 and at 1-0 but the second goal definitely settled us down a bit more.

“From then on, we knew we were safe and I think we’ve progressed since then.”

Eastman, 22, has played his part in helping Colchester make a move up the League One table, over recent weeks.

The U’s have claimed ten points from their last five games, including their excellent 3-0 victory over Gillingham last weekend.

Former Ipswich Town youngster Eastman has been in good form alongside Magnus Okuonghae at the heart of the U’s defence, helping the U’s keep four clean sheets in their last five games.

“We’ve done quite well recently and we want to keep the run going,” said Eastman, who has featured in Colchester’s last eight league games.

“We’ve had a good period and four out of five clean sheets is good for the defence.

“We’ve also got people who can score goals and win us games, which is what we’ve been doing.

“The Gillingham performance was one of our best of the season.

“Defending starts from the front and we didn’t really have too much to do last weekend, because of how we worked in attack.

“That makes our job easier at the back.”