Colchester United have won 4-0 at Northampton Town to close the gap on the teams above them in the race for promotion
Frank Nouble opened the scoring in the first half, and then the U's added three after the break.
Abo Eisa, Kane Vincent-Young and Sammie Szmodcis were the scorers, and it could have been worse for the hosts with Harry Pell having a late penalty saved.
The home side started the game on the front foot, but the U’s were holding them at arms’ length and protecting their goal well.
And it was Northampton that had the first few sights of goal, with Charlie Goode shooting over and then Marvin Sordell also missing the target from an Aaron Pierre cross.
Goode then turned and shot straight at Rene Gilmartin on twelve minutes, before the U’s had their first effort immediately after.
Kane Vincent-Young played in Sammie Szmodics on the edge of the box and the young U’s forward turned well but shot just over the home crossbar.
The hosts were having the better of possession but it was the U’s that took the lead, with the opener coming on twenty five minutes.
A Ben Stevenson corner was headed goalwards by Harry Pell, but there was still a lot to do before the ball was in the net.
Nouble had got himself in front of the keeper, he chested the ball down and instantly swivelled to shoot right footed.
A defender did manage to get a touch to it, but could only help it into the back of the net to give the U’s the lead.
The goal certainly gave the U’s a boost, and it was they who looked the more dangerous for the remainder of the first half.
Ash Taylor shot wide four minutes later, but Pell also had a shot well blocked at the other end.
The final chance of the half came on forty minutes, and once again it was a defender that tested the U’s keeper as Taylor’s shot was well saved by Gilmartin in the U’s goal.
Then the U’s keeper made a superb save twenty seconds into the second half to deny Sordell, with the former U’s striker looking favourite to equalise for the Cobblers.
That proved vital, and the U’s seemed to gain massive confidence from the save as they scored a second four minutes later.
Szmodics forged his way towards the edge of the box, and he then unselfishly rolled the ball to Abo Eisa, who had come on as a sub for Mikael Mandron at half time.
He calmly sidefooted past Cornell in the home goal, then celebrated his debut goal in front of the vocal U’s away following.
Gilmartin and Kent combined to deny Morias on fifty two minutes, before the U’s broke seconds later to make it 3-0.
Vincent-Young broke on the left before cutting inside, played a one-two with Eisa, and then stroked his shot beyond Cornell and into the corner.
Just after the hour mark, Brennan Dickenson was introduced for Courtney Senior, who was the victim of a cynical foul by Goode as he broke forward for the U’s.
On sixty-six minutes, Dickenson made a quick impact with the assist for the fourth U’s goal.
Nouble’s clever ball found Dickenson on the left, and then a perfect ball into the box found Szmodics in space to sidefoot the shot home.
Gilmartin then maintained the U’s clean sheet, again denying Morias, but the best chance late on came at the other end with seven minutes to play.
The third new signing of the week Callum Roberts was fouled inside the box, but Pell’s spot kick was pushed away by Cornell.
The miss didn’t have any effect on the game, and the U’s could be very happy with their afternoon’s work.
Cheltenham Town are the next opposition, as they visit the JobServe Community Stadium in seven days’ time.