Colchester United threw away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at Crewe Alexandra this afternoon.

Colchester took a third-minute lead through Freddie Sears, who drilled in from Ian Henderson's low pass.

Marcus Bean went close with a brave header, before the U's doubled their lead just before the half hour when Henderson scored a brilliant individual goal, superbly lifting the ball over stranded keeper Alan Martin.

Colchester were in control in the first half and went in at half-time in charge.

But Crewe came out strongly in the second half and Lauri Dalla Valle pulled a goal back for the Railwaymen five minutes after the break when he converted Matthias Pogba's pass, despite the U's claims for offside.

And the home side equalised in the 63rd minute when captain Luke Murphy converted from the spot, after Magnus Okuonghae was adjudged to have handled in the area.

Crewe completed their comeback with 16 minutes to go when Pogba headed in at the far post from Byron Moore's deep cross.

And although Colchester pushed for an equaliser late on it was not to be, as they suffered a third straight defeat.

For a full match report, pictures and reaction to the U's game at Gresty Road, see Monday's Gazette.