COLCHESTER United ended an excellent week on a high after running out impressive 3-2 winners following an eventful encounter at Mansfield Town this afternoon.

Goals from Brandon Comley, Courtney Senior and Luke Gambin secured the U's a third straight win in all competitions in front of 212 of their jubilant fans, at Field Mill.

It was a superb performance by John McGreal's side to boost their League Two top-seven hopes with the victory.

Callum Harriott was recalled to the U’s starting line-up in a left-sided role, with leading scorer Luke Norris missing out due to a groin injury.

Theo Robinson was suspended but there was a welcome return for Harry Pell, who was among the substitutes for the U’s and in the matchday 18 for the first time since the opening day of the season after recovering from an Achilles injury.

Colchester almost fell behind in the fourth minute when goalkeeper Dean Gerken pulled off a fine one-handed low save to prevent Andy Cook’s header from Kellan Gordon’s deep cross from sailing in.

But the U’s soon warmed to the task and Senior was just unable to connect with Cohen Bramall’s low cross into the six yard box after a swift break.

Colchester then took the lead in magnificent style, two minutes later.

Brandon Comley let fly with a magnificent shot from nearly 30 yards that flew into the top corner, to put the visitors ahead.

The midfielder’s only other league goal for the U’s had come at the same venue back in March, 2018.

Seemingly not content with the one goal, Colchester went in search of more after that.

Ben Stevenson’s shot landed straight into the arms of keeper Conrad Logan after a good U’s attack, midway through the first half.

And just after the half hour mark, Callum Harriott’s firm strike was pushed away by keeper Logan for a corner after Stevenson’s long pass had set him free.

Senior then fired straight at Logan from inside the area after Frank Nouble and Ryan Jackson had done well to set him up.

But Mansfield finished the first half strongly and two minutes before the break, Nicky Maynard’s long-range strike was pushed away well by Gerken.

And just before the break, Ryan Sweeney tapped home from two yards after U’s failed to deal with Mal Benning’s corner.

The visitors felt there had been a foul on Gerken in the build-up but the goal stood and Colchester went in at the break level.

The U’s were presented with a golden opportunity to regain their lead less than three minutes after the break, after Stags captain Benning tripped Kwame Poku in the area.

But Nouble’s high penalty was pushed away well by the diving Logan, as the U’s forward saw a spot-kick saved for the second time in three league games.

Nouble almost made amends for his penalty disappointment seconds later when his low effort was deflected wide for a corner.

And on the hour mark, Harriott's looping effort from 20 yards landed on the roof of the net as Colchester pressed.

Ryan Jackson did brilliantly to recover in his own six-yard box to block Andy Cook’s effort, after Nicky Maynard had delivered a dangerous cross.

But the U’s came agonisingly close to restoring their lead with 25 minutes remaining when Harriott’s sweet left-foot strike rattled the outside of the post.

Senior's deflected strike was saved by Logan before Colchester regained their lead, with 15 minutes to go.

Senior latched onto Poku's pass and went past a defender before lashing a shot past Logan and in, for his third goal of the season.

Gerken made a good save at the feet of Maynard before Colchester added a third goal three minutes before the end through Luke Gambin, who slotted in from close range after fellow substitute Tom Lapslie's shot had been saved by Logan.

Mansfield substitute Omari Sterling-James slotted in the hosts' second in the opening seconds of four minutes of stoppage-time to ensure a nervy ending for the U's.

But the visitors were able to see the game out and claim an impressive away win.