Hoodoo laid to rest

At the tenth attempt, Colchester United finally beat bogey team Crawley Town.

The U’s had not tasted victory over the Reds over a four-and-a-half year period spanning nine games prior to the weekend, drawing four and losing five of their meetings with the West Sussex side.

That included two defeats last season but in truth, their latest meeting with Crawley was practically won before half-time.

Beating Crawley was a long overdue moment but in truth, the most important thing for John McGreal’s side was securing three valuable points and bouncing back to winning ways, after their defeat at Cambridge United.

New loan signings impress

Colchester United handed debuts to three of their loanees against Crawley Town – and the trio left a positive impression.

Ryan Inniss, Brandon Comley and Nicke Kabamba formed the spine of the team for the U’s and none of them let their new club down.

Inniss’s gritty performance was particularly impressive, especially given the fact that he had looked unlikely to play in the run up to the game due to a knee injury.

His brave header in the opening minutes in front of the South Stand helped him immediately win over many Colchester supporters.

Indeed, Inniss provided some much-needed aggression and grit in the U’s defence and the Crystal Palace loanee looks like he could be a wise addition, if Colchester can keep him fit.

“He was a pillar of strength at the back and dominant in the air,” purred U’s head coach John McGreal afterwards, when asked about Inniss’s performance.

Jackson showing his class

It was a tough call for Colchester head coach John McGreal to select Ryan Jackson ahead of Kane Vincent-Young at right wing-back against Crawley Town.

Vincent-Young has been in excellent form of late - but Jackson’s fine performance justified McGreal’s decision.

The former Gillingham defender scored a cracking goal and before that, had a hand in Sammie Szmodics’ opener, before going on to produce a solid all-round performance in defence and attack.

McGreal said last week that in Jackson and Vincent-Young, he has two of the best full-backs in League Two.

The only problem he has now is finding a way of accommodating both talented players in his side.

Fortress Community Stadium

Colchester United’s win over Crawley extended their unbeaten home run to nine league matches, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Since U’s head coach John McGreal took over just before the start of the 2016-17 season, they have scored an impressive 52 times in the 26 home league games they have played, at a rate of two goals a match.

Few other teams in any of the top four divisions in English football can match that record.

They have started this season where they left off at the stadium and although McGreal rightly acknowledges that they have a different team this year, they have adopted a similar mindset and approach with their vibrant, attacking play.

Injury list increases

Colchester claimed victory over Crawley without nine players who were missing through injury.

Sean Murray was the latest player to be sidelined, after picking up a hip injury while Frankie Kent hobbled off with a heel problem at half-time.

They join a list of sidelined U’s players which includes the likes of Kurtis Guthrie, Luke Prosser, Craig Slater and long-term absentee, Brennan Dickenson.

The new season is only a few weeks old but Colchester’s injury worries show no sign of abating.

As McGreal acknowledged in his post-match yesterday, it is just as well Colchester made five deadline-day signings to boost their squad and give them additional options, in the coming weeks.