COLCHESTER United head coach Steve Ball praised his side's positive second-half reaction after they beat Harrogate Town 2-1 this afternoon to make it back-to-back wins.

The U's were not at their best in the first half and were fortunate to go in at the break goal-less, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

But two goals in as many minutes from Callum Harriott and Ben Stevenson just after the break put Colchester in command.

And although Jon Stead came off the bench to put Town back in it after the hour mark, the U's claimed another valuable three points.

Ball said: “It was hard work and I’m sure they’ll be lots of analysing going on, especially about our first-half performance.

“But there’s been a lot of change at his football club, with Covid coming in and some really big players at the football club having to move on.

“I’m delighted with how we’ve started the season.

“It’s eight games and one defeat – three wins and four draws – and I’m delighted with that.

“The analysing will be for another day but right now, I’m delighted with the win today.

“Harrogate are a really, really good side and they remind me a lot of Accrington Stanley how they go about it and how they work for each other.

“They were by far the better side in the first half and there was a huge amount said at half-time, mainly from me and there was a huge reaction, a positive reaction.

“We had a five-minute cameo at the end of the first half and if it hadn’t been for that, I’d have made changes at half-time but the second half was much better."

"We've got the players to hurt teams on the counter attack, that's for sure.

"I think we had three one-on-one clearcut chances when we were 2-1 up.

"Harrogate deserved to be ahead at half-time but they didn't take their chances.

"We did and I'm so happy to get the three points.

"The first half wasn't good enough but let's give them some respect.

"They've beaten Bradford away and they won the other night at Grimsby and they've beaten Southend, so let's give them some credit."

Stevenson marked his return to Colchester's starting line-up with a well-taken goal and boss Ball had praise for the midfielder.

Ball added: "Ben's got that bit of class, that bit of culture and you could see that with his finish.

"He showed composure and I want Ben in that box and scoring goals.

"When Ben gets up there, he hits the target and it was a great finish."