John McGreal secured victory in his first game in charge of Colchester United under-21s.

A brace from Byron Lawrence and another goal from Craig Eastmond secured the U’s a 3-1 win over Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road.

It was Colchester's first win of the season in the Professional Development League Two, following a draw with Sheffield United and defeat against Nottingham Forest.

George Cooper gave Crewe the lead after 25 minutes but Eastmond capitalised on a defensive mix-up to level the scores before half-time.

Colchester went on to exert their dominance after that.

Lawrence gave them the lead with a deflected effort after the break and scored a fine second goal from outside of the area, to seal the U’s win.

McGreal said: “The performance was very pleasing.

“We started the game really well - we had a couple of efforts from long range and a couple of opportunities which we should have done better with.

“But the goal didn’t come and they took the lead which came from good play but was a bit scrappy, from our point of view.

“That knocked the wind out of sails a bit but we equalised just before half-time when some good work from Dion Sembie-Ferris helped Craig Eastmond make it 1-1.

“We didn’t move the ball quickly enough in the first half and we dwelt on it a bit too much.

“We wanted to stretch the play to get our boys on the ball as much as possible.

“In the second half, the main thing was the quality of the first pass, which helped us to get on top in the game.

“In about the 70th minute, Jack Curtis intercepted a pass and that allowed Byron Lawrence to score from 25 yards.

“And then he scored another, which was a great strike from around the same distance.

“We were on the front foot and passing well and everyone was in cohesion with one another.”

For all of the latest Colchester United news, see the Daily Gazette.