The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By James Wil­liams

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

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

STAR MAN CHRIS PORTER team PASS THE PORT: Chris Porter cel­e­brates his opener and, inset, scores the sec­ond

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