COLCHESTER United have had many false dawns, particularly in the last four years, but as they desperately cling onto their EFL status, their dramatic win over Newport County may be the uplift they were craving, writes BEN MCCARTHY.

The U’s were four minutes of stoppage time away from slipping into the drop zone, something they worked so hard to move out from with their draw away to promotion-chasing Mansfield, just five days before.

Yet in the 93rd minute, Jay Mingi’s rocket of a strike had the JobServe Community Stadium in raptures. Danny Cowley waited a second or two to react, before bursting down the touchline to soak in the occasion.

READ MORE: Jay Mingi relishing defensive duties for Colchester United

In an equally buoyant mood, his assistant and brother, Nicky, spilled onto the pitch.

Yet amid the joy, the U’s boss still had decisions to make, he said: “I was running down the [touch]line and I was going to join in and jump with the players and as I was running, I thought, ‘I need to get Kells [Fiacre Kelleher] on!’”

It was the final details to a performance and result, that the U’s thirsted for, with traces stretching back to their previous match at leaders Mansfield.

That day, Cowley labelled his side’s performance as: ‘determined’, ‘gritty’ and ‘streetwise’, qualities that he saw again versus Newport, he said: “I think we showed them in abundance, and even in the first half, I thought we showed them.


"But the difference between the first half and second-half performance, for me, was that we played with a lot more tempo.”

Four points from their last two games, against strong opposition, have not come by accident.

The U’s have added an edge to their game, which Cowley has been encouraged by.

He said: “They’re improving, they’re getting better. In the week since the Mansfield game, I’ve seen a few of them really step up.

“Some of our young players have become a bit more streetwise, some of our older players have really taken the responsibility of leading, really owning the moment that we are in. You can feel something is growing.”

READ MORE: Graham Coughlan on Newport's defeat at Colchester United

Though a hurdle has been overcome by the team in claiming that elusive home win in this fresh chapter for the club, the U’s boss looks beyond that and is encouraged by his side's ‘competitive’ nature.

Cowley said: “We’ve had 12 games now, we’ve taken points in ten, so we’ve been competitive in ten games.

"We’ve been really consistent now for quite a period of time, we’re a team that although we defend well, find a way to concede and maybe we haven’t been able to find the second or third goal.

"As a consequence we’ve drawn a lot and it was really good to find that winner today. Hopefully the next wins come a bit easier.”