Now U’s go­ing to be­lieve us says Tony

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Jon Wal­dron

THEY have only nar­rowly avoided rel­e­ga­tion in each of the last two sea­sons, so it is prob­a­bly not sur­pris­ing that Colch­ester United have launched an­other con­certed League One sur­vival bid.

Colch­ester’s win at outof-form Port Vale means they have now taken seven points from a pos­si­ble nine and are four points adrift of safety, with seven games re­main­ing.

The task is still tough but they have at least given them­selves a chance, af­ter goals from Ge­orge Mon­cur and Ja­cob Mur­phy gave the U’s victory at a rain-sod­den Vale Park.

Colch­ester manager Tony Humes said: “We’ve got seven points from nine now and it gives us that be­lief that it’s pos­si­ble we can do it.

“We started slowly and they caused us a few prob­lems, but we stuck at it and once we saw out the first 20 min­utes, I thought we looked quite com­fort­able.

“I thought we caused them an aw­ful lot of prob­lems in the sec­ond half and to score the first goal was a huge thing for us.

“Port Vale threw ev­ery­thing at us in the fi­nal ten min­utes but we stood up to it well and got a fan­tas­tic three points.”

Vale were booed off by their own fans af­ter a fifth suc­ces­sive de­feat left them four points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Valiants boss Rob Page said: “It wasn’t a good day at all and the play­ers are bit­terly dis­ap­pointed.

“No­body en­joys los­ing games of foot­ball, es­pe­cially in the po­si­tion we find our­selves in, at this mo­ment in time.

“We’re in a battle and I’ve said to the play­ers that this is a test of char­ac­ter for us – we need lads who want to go out and give ev­ery­thing.

“I’ve never ques­tioned their ef­fort or their at­ti­tude and they’re a great group of lads, but we have to roll our sleeves up now.

“We can’t cry about it and we need a re­sponse again on Mon­day.”

Mark Mar­shall, Louis Dodds and Carl Dickinson all went close for Port Vale in the first half, while Chris Bir­chall had an ef­fort dis­al­lowed for off­side.

Colch­ester rarely threat­ened be­fore half-time, although re­called home keeper Sam John­son did deny Mon­cur just be­fore the break.

How­ever, the U’s took the lead just be­fore the hour when Mon­cur slot­ted past John­son af­ter link­ing up well with Chris Porter in the area.

And Colch­ester dou­bled their lead with 13 min­utes re­main­ing when Mur­phy ran to­wards goal and drilled a low shot into the far bot­tom cor­ner.

Dodds re­duced the deficit for Vale with seven min­utes re­main­ing when he fired home af­ter Mar­shall’s cor­ner had not been prop­erly cleared by the U’s, but the vis­i­tors held on for a valu­able win.

STAR MAN GE­ORG

E MONCU

R Colche

ster

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