The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Jon Wal­dron To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

THEIR sur­vival is not yet math­e­mat­i­cally guar­an­teed but bar­ring a dis­as­ter Colch­ester United’s League One sta­tus is se­cure for an­other sea­son, fol­low­ing their thump­ing win over al­ready-pro­moted Brent­ford.

Last year, the U’s left it un­til the fi­nal day of the sea­son to of­fi­cially avoid rel­e­ga­tion.

It will be the same again this year, only this time around they will go into their last game all but safe given the17-goal swing needed by their ri­vals.

Fred­die Sears’ dou­ble, along with goals from for­mer Bees favourite Mar­cus Bean and Alex Wyn­ter’s first pro­fes­sional goal, gave Colch­ester a huge vic­tory against Brent­ford, for whom Stu­art Dal­las scored and Alan Judge had a penalty saved by Sam Walker.

Colch­ester boss Joe Dunne said: “I know what my team’s ca­pa­ble of and we showed that.

“My play­ers will en­joy the weekend but we want to win, next weekend. I’ve spo­ken about re­silience with our backs to the wall and my play­ers de­serve great credit.

“At times, we were mag­nif­i­cent and the ef­fort and com­mit­ment was ex­cep­tional.They gave ev­ery­thing to the cause. We got out of the traps fast and the at­mos­phere was fan­tas­tic.

“We spent a lot of time talk­ing about set pieces and two of them paid off for us and we had a bit of luck with our fourth goal.”

Brent­ford boss Mark War­bur­ton con­ceded his side had a rare off day at Colch­ester, hav­ing se­cured pro­mo­tion to the Cham­pi­onship ear­lier this month.

“It wasn’t good enough,” ad­mit­ted the Bees boss.“Our sup­port­ers shouldn’t have had to pay to watch that per­for­mance from us. The only sav­ing grace is that we have next week (against Steve­nage) to put it right and we will put it right be­cause it was to­tally un­ac­cept­able.

“The play­ers have apol­o­gised and they’ll turn up next week – there’s no doubt about that. We stayed overnight in Colch­ester to make sure that we were fully pre­pared and we had no in­ten­tion of com­ing here with a weaker team or any­thing else.

“We had in­juries but other­wise, we fielded our strong­est team and I want people to know that.”

Jabo Ibehre fired a good chance wide early on, be­fore for­mer Bees mid­fielder Bean gave Colch­ester a 25th-minute lead when he bun­dled in Brian Wil­son’s free-kick.

Wyn­ter then headed in from Ryan Dick­son’s cor­ner three min­utes later, to make it 2-0 and when Sears struck home a penalty to give Colch­ester a three-goal lead, af­ter Alan McCormack had fouled Sanchez Watt in the area, the U’s were in dream­land.

Brent­ford pulled a goal back in first-half stop­page-time through Dal­las’s fine lon­grange strike.

How­ever, Sears re­stored Colch­ester’s three-goal cush­ion in the 64th minute and when U’s goal­keeper Sam Walker de­nied Alan Judge from the spot with 14 min­utes re­main­ing, it sealed a vi­tal vic­tory.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages


IE SEARS Colche ster AT THE DOU­BLE: Fred­die Sears, right, scores his sec­ond and Colch­ester’s fourth

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