FAN­TAS­TIC U’S END GILLS RUN

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

COLCH­ESTER United man­ager Tony Humes saluted his play­ers af­ter they ended Gilling­ham’s un­beaten league run and knocked them off the top of the ta­ble. The U’s fol­lowed up their mid­week tri­umph at Sheffield United with a sec­ond suc­ces­sive vic­tory, reg­is­ter­ing their first home win of the cam­paign.

All of the goals came in the first half, with Colch­ester’s on-loan winger Cal­lum Har­riott scor­ing what proved to be the win­ner af­ter Luke Nor­ris had can­celled out Gavin Massey’s early opener.

Colch­ester goal­keeper Jamie Jones also saved a penalty for the sec­ond suc­ces­sive game, deny­ing Cody McDon­ald from the spot hav­ing also saved Billy Sharp’s spot-kick at Bra­mall Lane last Tues­day.

Colch­ester boss Humes said: “Gilling­ham are a good team and you can see why they’re top of the league. They had great energy and qual­ity and put teams un­der pres­sure. But where we haven’t de­fended so well in re­cent weeks you have to praise the back four, be­cause I thought they were out­stand­ing.

“We had a bit of a jit­tery start but as the game went on, the cen­tre-halves did what they are there for. As a team we worked our socks off and got our re­wards in the end.

“It was a fan­tas­tic win – we showed we were a team out there and we put a shift in to get those three points.You can see it mat­ters to us.”

Gilling­ham man­ager Justin Ed­in­burgh was dis­ap­pointed to see his side’s un­beaten record go – but be­lieves his team will bounce back from the set­back.

He said: “We’ve got to get back on the bike and I have great belief that these play­ers will do that.

“We’ve got to over­come that now, start­ing against Barns­ley on Satur­day. It’s our first league de­feat of the sea­son and it feels like a cup fi­nal for Colch­ester.

“I thought that it was a good game be­tween two teams who com­peted com­pet­i­tively but fairly. There were lots of in­ci­dents but I’d rather not com­ment on one or two of them.

“It was an open game at the start and we could have been two or three up in the first five min­utes.

“It was prob­a­bly a lit­tle bit too open for me, play­ing away from home. I don’t think we con­trolled the game as we should have done.The keeper (Jamie Jones) has had a good week and has made a few saves, so credit to him.”

McDon­ald hit the post in­side two min­utes be­fore Massey clin­i­cally fin­ished from Har­riott’s pass to give Colch­ester an early lead.

Nor­ris equalised for Gilling­ham three min­utes later when he fin­ished well from McDon­ald’s flick be­fore Har­riott scored what proved to be the win­ner, fir­ing home a su­perb shot from Matthew Briggs’ pass.

Jones saved McDon­ald’s penalty af­ter Colch­ester de­fender Frankie Kent was ruled to have han­dled a cross and the on­loan keeper then de­nied Jor­dan Houghton and Bradley Dack in the sec­ond half.

PIC­TURES: TGSPHOTO

FIRST BLOW: Gavin Massey cel­e­brates his early opener for Colch­ester DE­NIED: Gilling­ham striker Cody McDon­ald (far left) sees his penalty saved by Jamie Jones STAR MAN JAMIE JONES Colche

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