Colchester United comment with Jon Waldron

COLCHESTER United got back to winning ways in style with their triumph at Salford City – and their fans lived and breathed every moment of it.

As the wind and rain lashed around Moor Lane before kick-off, the U’s fans who had battled for hours in the inclement weather to make it into the ground might have been forgiven for wondering quite why they bothered, such were the dreadful conditions.

By the end of the match, any self-doubts surrounding their attendance were presumably banished by the joy of seeing Colchester claim an important 2-1 win, significant in the context of their chase for a top-seven finish in League Two.

A total of 430 U’s fans travelled to watch their team in action at Salford.

It was an impressive turnout, a number no doubt swelled by the fact that this was Colchester’s first-ever game at the venue.

Nevertheless, with the game having been in considerable doubt up until only a few hours before kick-off, the fact that so many U’s supporters made the trip to Greater Manchester was commendable – and fittingly, they had a good view of many of the game’s key moments.

For those Colchester followers standing behind the goal and sitting adjacent to it, they witnessed at close quarters both sides of what essentially paved the way for the visitors’ win.

They viewed at first hand a fine first-half attacking display full of quality, the highlights of which were two excellent goals scored by Kwame Poku and Callum Harriott.

And after half-time, they had a close view of what was a committed and gutsy defensive second-half performance.

When the final whistle eventually came, after more than ten minutes of stoppage-time had been added on, they were able to savour the victory with the U’s players and staff.

Their supporters deserved every minute of their post-match celebrations, particularly those who had been at Vale Park seven days’ earlier.

“They were a credit to us – when fans turn up like that, it gives us that extra step,” U’s boss John McGreal enthused afterwards.

“They fully deserved the applause they got off the players and the players deserved it, too. We really appreciate what the fans have done.”

McGreal had said prior to the game that his players had battened down the hatches in the wake of criticism they had received in the aftermath of their 3-0 defeat at Port Vale.

It turned out to be an appropriate term to use, given the weather conditions they had to endure at Salford.

But amid the gloom, Colchester’s bright performance bore all of the hallmarks of a side intent on making amends for that miserable loss at Vale Park.