COLCHESTER United got back to winning ways in style this afternoon with a fine 2-1 win at Salford City.

Superb individual goals from Kwame Poku and Callum Harriott gave the U's a two-goal cushion at a rain-sodden Moor Lane.

And although Ash Hunter pulled a goal back for the Ammies just before half-time, it was not enough to help the home side salvage a point in difficult conditions.

Colchester will be delighted with their win after back-to-back defeats, which has given their hopes of a top-seven finish a boost with 11 games to go.

The U's defended superbly particularly in the second half, when they were put to the test by the hosts in difficult conditions.

Colchester head coach John McGreal made four changes to his starting line-up for their game against Salford City.

Omar Sowunmi, Kwame Poku, Callum Harriott and Luke Norris were all recalled, at the expense of Tom Eastman, Brandon Comley, Courtney Senior and Frank Nouble who all dropped to the bench.

After downpours prior to the match and two pitch inspections, the match went ahead as planned but heavy rain greeted the players before kick-off.

The pitch was inevitably heavy in places but Salford showed their intentions early on, with James Wilson running towards the U's goal before curling a third-minute shot just wide from 25 yards.

But Colchester also threatened early on and Norris failed to connect properly with a first-time shot from just over 20 yards, after Michael O’Connor’s poor pass had given him a glimpse of goal.

Back came Salford and Brandon Thomas-Asante lashed a shot just wide of the target after Ben Stevenson's interception had fallen fortuitously into his path, just before the midway point in the first half.

But Colchester went ahead in the 27th minute – and in some style.

Poku picked up Stevenson's pass in midfield and ran at the Salford defence before planting a fantastic left-foot shot past Kyle Letheren, giving the keeper no chance.

The U’s turned on the style after that with some attractive attacking play.

And just two minutes later, Poku almost scored another fine solo goal when he collected Theo Robinson's pass before curling in a delightful left-foot shot that whistled inches past the post.

Cohen Bramall curled a 25-yard free-kick over the bar soon after but Salford came close to equalising six minutes before the break when Wilson’s shot was saved at point-blank range by Gerken, after Craig Conway’s free-kick had been headed into his path.

But Colchester doubled their lead, in the 42nd minute.

Harriott drilled a superb left-foot shot into the far post leaving Letheren with no chance, after Bramall had burst down the left and picked him out.

The U’s two-goal lead was halved though, barely a minute later.

Colchester failed to cut out Scott Wiseman's low cross from the right and Ash Hunter was on hand to tap home from close range.

And Salford came close to equalising in first-half stoppage-time when Brandon Thomas-Asante drilled a low shot across the face of goal and just wide of the near post.

Salford introduced former Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson for Michael O’Connor at half-time and dominated the early stages of the second half.

The hosts felt they should have had a penalty when Thomas-Asante went down under Luke Prosser's challenge in the area but the referee waved away any claims, with the U’s incensed feeling that the forward had dived.

And soon after, Sowunmi made a brilliant clearance in his own six-yard box to deny Thomas-Asante what looked a certain goal, after Wiseman had got in behind Bramall to cross.

Colchester were forced into a change with 16 minutes remaining when Harriott was forced off and replaced by Nouble after falling victim to a over-zealous challenge by Salford left-back Ibou Touray, who was duly booked.

Comley replaced Theo Robinson soon after as the U’s attempted to consolidate their lead but Salford almost grabbed an equaliser with eight minutes to go when Gibson's long-range strike dropped just wide of the far post.

Ryan Jackson limped off late on for Colchester as the Ammies pressed.

But despite nine minutes of stoppage-time being added at the end, the U's defended superbly to keep the home side at bay and seal an important win, in front of their 430 travelling fans.