WE HAVE DUNNE IT SAYS JOE AS U’S SURVIVE
CARLISLE ........0 COLCHESTER ..2 Colchester avoid the drop with gutsy win
JOE DUNNE hailed his “magnificent” Colchester players after they won at Carlisle United to secure their League One status.
The U’s needed at least a point to stay in the division and their victory secured their place in the third tier, despite Scunthorpe United’s 3-1 win over Swindon Town.
Second-half goals from Gavin Massey and Tom Eastman secured them a deserved win at Brunton Park and U’s boss Dunne said: “I thought that we were magnificent.
“We had a game plan which worked absolutely spot on.
“We frustrated Carlisle and we said at half-time that we could go for it and win.
“We knew that we had to stay in the game and the first goal was as a result of a very good move.
“We controlled the first half and the game developed into exactly how we wanted it to.
“We’ve worked hard in training this week.
“I’m so pleased for all of the players and staff who have all worked extremely hard and also the supporters.”
Carlisle boss Greg Abbott said: “The players were flat for the game.
“We wanted to go out on a high note and finish the season properly.
“But we couldn’t find the fluency and that little bit of quality that you need.
“The goals that they scored were soft, scrappy goals.
“The result has put a bit of dampener on things for us.
“We put a lot of hard work into our last six or seven games.
“But we had some damaging blows earlier in the season.
“There is a lot of work to be done – it didn’t look like there was going to be major surgery to be done here over the last six games but it looked like that (against Colchester).”
Colchester knew that a draw at Carlisle would be enough to seal their League One status for another year, irre- spective of fourth-bottom Scunthorpe’s result against Swindon Town.
And despite the enormity of the match for them, they performed well throughout and looked organised and solid.
Carlisle keeper Mark Gillespie pushed away Billy Clifford’s long-range shot early on while at the other end, Lee Miller had time to shoot inside the area until John White did well to recover and block the goalbound shot.
Liam Noble’s lofted first-time shot from 25 yards flew over after patient build-up from Carlisle but Colchester had penalty appeals turned down eight minutes before the break when O’Hanlon appeared to handle.
Walker pushed away Noble’s effort before half-time but the first half finished goal-less and Colchester looked comfortable.
They started brightly after the break and took a precious lead when Massey somehow swept the ball in from a difficult angle after Clifford’s shot had come back off the bar. And the U’s sealed their League One safety when Eastman headed in.
BUNDLE: Colchester United’s Tom Eastman scores his side’s second goal
ON TARGET: Gavin Massey heads in Colchester’s first