DUNNE’S SURE OF NO STING IN TALE
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.
STAR MAN FREDD
IE SEARS Colche ster AT THE DOUBLE: Freddie Sears, right, scores his second and Colchester’s fourth