Guthrie’s tre­ble has Colch­ester look­ing up

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

JOHN MCGREAL hailed his hat-trick hero Kur­tis Guthrie af­ter the striker helped in-form Colch­ester United thrash Carlisle United to chalk up a fifth suc­ces­sive win and move into the League Two play-off places.

Guthrie bagged his first Foot­ball League tre­ble and Chris Porter also net­ted as the in­form U’s ex­tended their un­beaten run to eight matches.

Colch­ester boss McGreal said: “It was great to see Kur­tis score his hat-trick; he could have had it a bit ear­lier but it was great for him.

“Kur­tis can adapt – he has an op­por­tu­nity to play in the Foot­ball League and he’s tak­ing it.

“We don’t re­ally want to get above our­selves as we’ve moved such a big dis­tance in such a short space of time. We have to stay fo­cused and there are still 20-odd games left to go.

“But as long as we keep work­ing hard on the train­ing pitch, ap­ply­ing our­selves in the right way and de­vel­op­ing good habits, we’ll have a good go.”

Carlisle boss Keith Curle was dis­ap­pointed with as­pects of his side’s dis­play, say­ing: “There were some ba­sics that we didn’t do well. We didn’t stop the balls go­ing into our box and some of our de­ci­sion-mak­ing at times was poor.

“The de­fen­sive record is def­i­nitely a con­cern to me and the amount of goals we’ve con­ceded in the games we’ve played is di­a­bol­i­cal.

“If you take chances, it does change the game. Ja­son Kennedy had a great chance seven yards out but doesn’t hit the tar­get and blazes it over.

“Ja­son has been ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic for us though and is get­ting in good ar­eas, but if that goes in it can change the bal­ance of the game.”

Chris Porter headed in Bren­nan Dick­en­son’s cross from six yards to give Colch­ester an 11th-minute lead.

But Carlisle equalised in the 28th minute through Shaun Bris­ley, whose loop­ing header from Ma­cauley Gille­sphey’s cross sailed in.

Colch­ester re­stored their lead five min­utes later when Guthrie curled in a su­perb shot from the edge of the area af­ter Craig Slater’s cross had caused con­fu­sion in the box.

And Colch­ester went 3-1 up five min­utes af­ter the break when Guthrie blasted home af­ter Porter had dum­mied Slater’s de­liv­ery.

Guthrie hit the bar be­fore com­plet­ing his hat-trick in stop­page time, con­vert­ing af­ter Gille­spie had de­nied Denny John­stone to seal Colch­ester’s im­pres­sive win


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