COLCHESTER United made it back-to-back wins in League Two for the first time this season after seeing off an impressive Harrogate Town side this afternoon.

Goals from Callum Harriott and Ben Stevenson sealed a hard-earned three points for the U’s at the JobServe Community Stadium, despite substitute Jon Stead’s consolation goal for the visitors.

U’s boss Steve Ball made one change to his starting line-up for their game against Harrogate.

Ben Stevenson was restored to the team after recovering from a groin injury, with Luke Gambin dropping to the bench as a result.

Harrogate went into the match on the back of three straight league wins and it showed in their impressive first-half performance.

U’s keeper Dean Gerken made a good third-minute save to deny Calvin Miller’s low close-range shot.

Connor Hall's optimistic 35-yard strike landed straight in Gerken’s arms while soon after, George Thomson sliced a good chance wide for the visitors while unmarked at the far post after Jack Muldoon had headed down and into his path.

Harrogate had plenty of joy in the U’s final third and particularly down their right and came close to scoring again in the 19th minute when Lloyd Kerry drilled a low shot just wide of the far post after being picked out well by Muldoon’s pass.

And midway through the first half, Aaron Martin almost capitalised on Cohen Bramall's uncharacteristic mistake in the area but Gerken came to the rescue of his team-mate, before the U's left-back gets back to scramble away for a corner.

The U’s were second best for much of the first half and it did not help that they were sloppy at times in possession, putting themselves under pressure against a confident side.

However, Colchester did finish the first half strongly.

Skipper Harry Pell's far-post header looped over the bar from Callum Harriott's corner, before Noah Chilvers' powerful shot was saved well by Harrogate keeper James Belshaw after the U's midfielder had broken the offside trap and got on the end of Kwame Poku's through pass.

Pell's shot from just inside the area was then pushed away well by Belshaw following Chilvers' lay-off and the Town keeper seconds later got down low to save Harriott’s shot, as the first half finished goal-less.

Will Smith's header from Thomson's fine free-kick flew just wide of the post for Harrogate in the opening seconds after the break.

And soon after, Gerken came to the U's rescue again with a save at point blank range from Thomson after a long ball into the area.

But two goals in the space of two minutes for Colchester put the hosts in charge.

The U’s took a 52nd-minute lead when Harriott drilled in a low shot from the edge of the area which took a deflection and flew past Belshaw and into the net.

And they went further ahead when Stevenson swept home a fine shot from the edge of the area from Chilvers' pass, after Brown and Poku had initially linked up well.

But Harrogate quickly reduced the deficit when substitute Jon Stead powerfully headed in Thomson’s corner from close range.

Colchester almost made it 3-1 with 20 minutes remaining when Brown broke the visitors’ offside trap only to be denied by Belshaw, before Ball made a double change bringing on Luke Norris and Omar Sowunmi for Chilvers and Brown.

Colchester had a let-off with eight minutes remaining when substitute Brendan Kiernan’s header from a long throw came back off a post.

But the U’s had a good chance to seal their win soon after when substitute Courtney Senior sliced wide from a good position, after being set up by Norris.

Belshaw denied Cohen Bramall late on but a one-goal margin proved enough for Colchester to claim another win.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken, Welch-Hayes, Eastman, Smith, Bramall, Chilvers (sub Sowunmi, 71), Pell, Stevenson, Poku (sub Senior, 77), Harriott, Brown (sub Norris, 71).

Subs (not used): Scarlett, Gambin, Bohui, George.

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Falkingham, Smith, Burrell (sub Jones, 82), Thomson, Martin (sub Stead, 39), Kerry, Muldoon, Miller (sub Kiernan, 56), Hall.

Subs (not used): Kirby, Walker, Cracknell.

Referee: Will Finnie (Bedfordshire).

Goals: U’s: Harriott (52), Stevenson (54). Harrogate: Stead (61).

Bookings: U’s: Brown (foul, 41), Stevenson (foul, 90).