Colchester United relinquished a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at home to Sheffield United tonight.

The U's were heading for victory when goals from George Moncur and Freddie Sears put them in control.

But three goals in the space of five minutes late in the game saw the U's collapse and gave the Blades victory, to condemn Tony Humes to his first defeat as U's manager.

Colchester performed well in the first half and came close to scoring in the fifth minute when Alex Gilbey’s fierce shot from just inside the area clattered against the outside of a post.

Blades goalkeeper Mark Howard denied Sears’ deflected effort and Sanchez Watt had the ball in the net only to have his effort ruled out for offside.

But the U’s took the lead just after the half hour.

After Gavin Massey had picked him out with a low pass inside the area, Moncur headed in at the second attempt for his third goal of the season after the midfielder's initial effort had been saved by Howard at point-blank range.

U’s goalkeeper Sam Walker denied Craig Alcock’s first-time effort just before the break but Colchester deserved their lead at half-time.

James Wallace drilled a low shot just wide for the visitors in the opening minutes of the second half but Sears was desperately unlucky not to make it 2-0 ten minutes into the second half when he burst clear of the visitors' defence and rounded Howard before firing in a shot which defender Neill Collins did well to clear off the line.

But Sears did double Colchester's lead when he profited from a mistake by Howard to slot into the empty net.

It looked like the U's were heading for victory but three goals in the space of five minutes gave Sheffield United victory.

Ben Davies pulled a goal back when he drilled in a low shot inside the area and the Blades were back on level terms soon after through Ryan Flynn, who prodded in from close range from Bob Harris's pass.

And the Blades' dramatic comeback was complete when Davies fired in from the spot, after Gilbey had fouled substitute Stefan Scougall in the area, to leave the U's heartbroken.

For a full match report and pictures from the U's game with Sheffield United, see Wednesday's Daily Gazette.