COLCHESTER United fell to a 2-1 defeat at Crawley Town, on Saturday afternoon.

Luke Prosser gave the U's a first-half lead when he headed in Kwame Poku's corner.

But second-half goals from Reece Grego-Cox and Mason Bloomfield gave Crawley all three points, at Broadfield Stadium.

Here are five talking points from the U's defeat, which leaves them two points off the League Two play-off positions.

1 A game of two halves

COLCHESTER United produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance at Crawley Town.

While they weren’t dominant in the first half, they arguably were the better side before half-time and probably deserved their lead.

But sadly, the U’s looked a completely different outfit in the second half, allowing their hosts to come back into the game and take control.

A performance that had looked so promising at the break ultimately faded away into nothing and resulted in a first league defeat in five.

2 Meeting time

IT’S not often the entire Colchester team returns to the pitch in the immediate aftermath of a match.

But that’s what happened at Crawley, when the U’s reappeared from the changing room not long after the final whistle for a post-match debrief following their 2-1 loss.

There was no ranting or raving in the rain; led by skipper Luke Prosser, it was a calm, open and measured discussion about what went wrong – and how to put it right.

If it helps Colchester get back to winning ways against Morecambe next weekend, it can only be a good thing.

3 Management speak

JOHN McGreal had spent half-time warning his players what they would face in the second half at Crawley.

So watching his side surrender their lead and then concede again to lose at Broadfield Stadium must have been extremely frustrating for the U’s head coach.

“When you do sense the game changing, it’s about managing it properly,” admitted McGreal, after the 2-1 loss.

Managers naturally are employed to make big decisions and help their team win football matches.

But sometimes, players also have to take responsibility on the pitch and be mature enough to manage the game – and situations – themselves.

4 Missing link

THE extent to which Colchester missed Brandon Comley against Crawley says much about his impressive form, this season.

As well as Tom Lapslie and Brendan Wiredu played, the midfielder’s absence was noticeable after he jetted off to play for Montserrat in their qualifier against El Salvador.

Comley has not always been first choice for the U’s since joining them from QPR back in August, 2017.

But having established himself as a regular starter under John McGreal, his performances in the opening two months of the campaign now mean that when he does not play, he is missed.

5 Big incentive

COLCHESTER will not have to wait long to try and avenge their defeat at Crawley.

In little more than a fortnight’s time, they will return to Broadfield Stadium to take on the same opponents, with a Carabao Cup quarter-final place at stake.

With the prize of a last-eight place at stake, the U’s will need little extra motivation for that tie especially as they will be roared on by around 1,700 of their fans.

But having the additional incentive of trying to atone for this league loss will certainly not do them any harm, on October 29.