HOME WHERE U’S HEART IS!
COLCHESTER head coach John McGreal believes his side’s impressive home form could yet prove vital in their quest to reach the play-offs.
Chris Porter’s brace helped the U’s see off fellow promotion contenders Luton to move to within two points of the top seven.
Isaac Vassell did get an injury-time consolation for the Hatters but the U’s have now won 12 league games at the Weston Homes Community Stadium to form the bedrock of their promotion push.
McGreal said: “I’ve always loved playing at home as a player and we try to make it a fortress.
“It was up there as one of our best first-half performances of the season against a terrific Luton team.
“I have to commend the boys for the second half as well because we changed the shape and adapted.
“We wanted to try and get another goal in the second half but we changed to 4-3-3 and we’ll take the performance and result all day.
“They reacted from last week and that’s the group as a whole – every time we’ve had a defeat we’ve been able to bounce back.”
Luton are now without a win in five matches and manager Nathan Jones admits their form needs to be tackled as they lie just a point above eighth-placed Carlisle.
He said: “It’s three points from a possible 15 in our last five games and we have to address that, because we thought that we’d go on a run at this point.
“Instead we’ve gone on a bad run and we have to address that. It’s a test of me as the manager and a test of the players, so that’s what we’re looking for.
“Our first-half performance didn’t deserve anything but the second half gives us a little bit of heart and we have to build on that, because we’ve got some big games coming up to try and get the points we need.”
Colchester made a dream start when they took a fourthminute lead.
Brennan Dickenson delivered a superb cross from the touchline that Porter met with a fine header that looped into the net.
Luton keeper Matt Macey denied both Drey Wright and Dickenson, before the hosts doubled their lead just after the halfhour mark through Porter, who prodded in Richard Brindley’s cross from closerange.
And Porter almost completed a first-half hat-trick when he headed over Sean Murray’s free-kick from six yards.
Luton improved dramatically after the break and almost pulled a goal back midway through the second half when James Justin’s curling effort was palmed over by U’s goalkeeper Sam Walker, seconds after George Elokobi had cleared Alan Sheehan’s shot off the line.
The Hatters eventually halved the deficit late on when Vassell slotted in at the near post but it proved far too little, far too late.
COLCHESTER (3-5-2): Walker 7, Eastman 8, James 7 (Wynter 59 6), Elokobi 9, Brindley 8, Lapslie 8, Murray 7, Wright 7, Dickenson 8, Pyke 7 (Fosu 66 5), Porter 9 (Bonne 88 N/A) Subs not used: Briggs, Kinsella, O'Sullivan, Brill
LUTON (4-3-1-2): Macey 6, O'Donnell 5, Cuthbert 6, Rea 5, Sheehan 6, Cook 5 (Lee 68 6), Ruddock 5, D’Ath 6, Gray 5 (Justin 38 5), Marriott 5 (Palmer 61 6), Vassell 7
Subs not used: Smith, Bakinson, Famewo, Moor
STAR MAN CHRIS PORTER team PASS THE PORT: Chris Porter celebrates his opener and, inset, scores the second