JOHN McGreal has often spoken of the strong connection between supporters and club, during his time in charge at Colchester United.

That alliance the U’s head coach regularly talks of has perhaps seldom been more evident than it was in their 1-0 triumph at Cambridge United, at the weekend.

It was not just that the U’s had more than 1,100 supporters roaring them on at the Abbey Stadium, though that alone was impressive in itself, especially as it was the biggest away contingent of the day in League Two.

It was more the influence that support had – and the big part that they played in helping Colchester claim a vital win in their quest to make the play-offs.

Just seven days earlier, the U’s had been booed off by some of their own disgruntled fans following their 2-0 home loss to Tranmere Rovers.

But a week later, the scenes at the final whistle could hardly have been more different.

Without being prompted, boss McGreal highlighted in his post-match interview the role Colchester’s dramatic last-gasp win.

“From minute one right the way through to the 95th minute they kept us going and they need to be applauded for that,” said McGreal, with the cheers of the jubilant U’s fans as they made their way away from the Abbey Stadium still audible as he spoke.

Even some of Colchester’s players joined forces with the vocal away support at Cambridge to cheer on the team on the field.

Frank Nouble and Harry Pell, who missed the game through suspension and injury respectively, along with youngsters Todd Miller and Ollie Kensdale who were in the matchday squad but did not make the bench, took their place among the travelling contingent.

They were rewarded at the end and were as animated as the supporters around them, in celebrating Kane Vincent-Young’s last-gasp winner.

It was another sign of the unity that currently exists between club and supporters, something that will serve the U’s well in the final few weeks of the campaign.

Any season will have its ups and downs but the nature of Vincent-Young’s strike somehow felt like a pivotal moment, in the campaign.

Indeed, the dramatic manner of this away win might well act as a turning point for Colchester, at a crucial time.