COLCHESTER United skipper Harry Pell made an honest admission after his side's 2-1 win over Harrogate Town.

The U's produced a below-par first-half display at the JobServe Community Stadium, with the visitors denied an opener by a mixture of goalkeeper Dean Gerken's competence and their own profligacy in front of goal.

But after some strong words in the changing room at the break, Colchester were much better in the second half.

Quick-fire goals from Callum Harriott and Ben Stevenson after half-time gave Colchester a two-goal cushion.

And although veteran Jon Stead came off the bench to score for Harrogate on the hour mark, it proved only a consolation goal for the visitors.

Nevertheless, Colchester captain Pell was quick to acknowledge that they were not at their best in the opening 45 minutes.

Writing on Twitter, the midfielder said: 'In all honesty, think we all owe a apology to @ColU_Official fans who paid to watch that first half. In a period where games are coming thick and fast at us ...A great habit to win games whilst not playing at our best ..All focus onto Tuesday..'

Callum Harriott, who scored Colchester's opening goal against Harrogate, also took to social media to back up Pell's assessment of their first-half display.

The winger wrote on Twitter: 'Terrible first half today! Not happy about it all.. but we got through it and performed better in the second half. Lots to learn from and improve together. happy to get on the score sheet again today'

And right-back Miles Welch-Hayes, who celebrates his 24th birthday today, wrote on Twitter: 'Scrappy but perfect early birthday present +3 points'