DANNY Cowley was delighted with the performance of his Colchester United side following their vital 3-2 triumph at Crawley Town – and felt they deserved to win by a greater margin.

A brace from Tom Hopper and Cameron McGeehan’s strike helped secure a crucial win for the U’s in their battle to beat the drop, lifting them out of the League Two relegation zone with four games left.

Colchester were also denied a fourth goal when Hopper’s second-half strike was ruled out for a push spotted by the assistant referee but the visitors nevertheless came away with the win they craved.

READ MORE: Match report as Colchester claim crucial win at Crawley

U’s boss Cowley, who had to watch the game from the stands after being given a one-match touchline ban, said: “It’s not easy watching Colchester United Football Club!

“It was a really good performance by the players – I thought they were excellent.

“There was a really clear game plan and I thought the players delivered it perfectly.

“We’d come on the back of two really good performances against Wrexham and Stockport where we’d taken nothing from them and came into this game on probably the warmest day of the year against a possession-based team and we know that we’re going to have to run.

“We picked a team that could run and boy, did they run!

“They covered every single blade of grass out there and some of them were like two players for us.


“It was a really good performance and I’m just frustrated, because their first goal was at least two yards offside and we score a really well-worked goal and the linesman, who is 50 yards away somehow gives a foul on their goalkeeper and there’s not even contact.

“So, I’m frustrated because we end up winning 3-2 and we should at that stage be 4-1 up and probably in the position I thought we deserved to be in actually.”

Cowley had special praise for two-goal hero Hopper, who was Colchester’s man of the match following a fine individual performance.

“It should have been a hat-trick,” said Cowley.

“There wouldn’t have been a more deserving player in our squad to score a hat-trick.

“He’s a boy that’s absolutely selfless and works so hard on his game, not just technically and tactically but physically and mentally and since the moment we came in, he’s been brilliant on the pitch and he’s been brilliant off the pitch.

READ MORE: Crawley Town 2 Colchester United 3 - as it happened

“He’s our first defender and the way we like to play, we like to get high pressure on the ball and that means the nine really has to run hard.

“The first one came from really good play from Noah and Ellis and the second one is a really good goal, because he had a lot of time to think and he showed composure, delayed and took the moment, opened the goal up and just slid it in.”

The only real downside for Colchester was the late dismissal of substitute Samson Tovide, who was shown a straight red card following an off-the-ball incident.

Cowley said: “There’s a coming together of the players.

“The linesman makes the decision, the referee doesn’t.

“There is a coming together but it just looks so low level.”


Cowley also had special praise for Colchester’s fans, with nearly 1,000 making the trip to Broadfield Stadium to support their team.

He added: “The players to a man were incredible today with our supporters – wow!

“I didn’t know we were at home!

“That was brilliant and to have to many supporters with us, behind the team, driving the energy and the enthusiasm – I think they all respected that the boys gave everything last week and probably didn’t get what they deserved and they just stayed with them, in our hour of need.

“Let’s be realistic – we’ve got 14 days left of the season, five games when we wake up this morning to change all of our lives.

“This is a really, really important two weeks for us and I don’t over-exaggerate it at all.

“If you get relegated out of the Football League, that lives with you every single day of your life.”