Colchester United have beaten Carlisle United 3-0 and move one point off the Play-Offs
It was a dominant display from the U’s, with goals from Callum Harriott, Cohen Bramall and an own goal from Nathanial Knight-Percival giving the U's all three points.
John McGreal's side started the game well, attacking in numbers, and preventing Carlisle from getting any real chances on goal.
Harriott went closest in the seventh minute, as he controlled a Jackson pass from his own half and played the ball across the face of goal. Unfortunately, there was no one to attack the ball in U’s colours and Carlisle were able to clear.
Gambin went close ten minutes later. Robinson cheekily nutmegged Elliott to find Bramall, who played the ball across to Gambin. He was being leaned on and fired wide of the post, but it was a sign of things to come from the U’s.
It was from a Bramall cross that the U's did make a breakthrough.
Making headway down the left-hand side again, he fizzed the ball along the surface – always a danger in slippery conditions. Nathanial Knight-Percival attempted to clear but was only able to slice the ball into the back of his own net, giving the U’s a 1-0 lead with twenty-seven minutes on the clock.
Just three minutes later, the hosts went close to doubling their lead. Pell managed to beat his man and head towards goal, but it was straight at the grateful Collin in the Carlisle goal who was able to gather.
The away side then went close to getting back on level terms through Ryan Loft. Elliott found himself with the ball and unmarked on a tight angle to goal.
He picked out Loft at the far post who inexplicably put the ball wide when presented with an open goal from no more than two yards out.
It would prove to be a costly miss, with the U’s able to double their lead only five minutes later.
Poku cut in from the right and shot at goal from thirty yards out. Collin was able to save well from the initial attempt but couldn’t get up in time to prevent Callum Harriott from slotting in to get his first Colchester goal since December 2015.
This gave the U’s a comfortable 2-0 lead as the teams headed to the dressing rooms at half time.
Harriott was again the pivotal man in the second half. Surrounded by three Carlisle players on the edge of the box he drew a foul.
The resulting free kick was smashed into the top corner by Cohen Bramall for his first goal in U’s colours. Twenty yards from goal, he side footed the ball over the wall and dipped it under the bar – an impossible shot for Collin to save, to give the U's a 3-0 lead in the fiftieth minute.
Adam Collin was much the busier of the two ‘keepers in the second half and throughout the game, making a top save from Robinson who was six yards out. Pell collected the ball from a corner and recycled a cross into the area for Robinson to nod towards goal, only to find Collin in his way and preventing a U’s fourth.
Nouble went close with eighty-four minutes on the clock, as he attempted to head in Bramall’s cross, but couldn’t quite make contact, allowing the away ‘keeper to collect and distribute.
Second half sub, Omar Sowunmi, went close to getting his first goal for Colchester. He headed a Luke Gambin corner towards the far post, only for fellow centre back, Tom Eastman, to divert into the path of Adam Collin who was happy to collect the ball.
The full-time whistle blew with the U's deservedly winning the game 3-0 and taking all three points.
The result lifts the U’s up to eight in League Two, just one point behind Forest Green who occupy the final Play-Off spot.
Attentions will now be focused on the Boxing Day game, when the U's travel to East London to take on Leyton Orient in what will be the first of the return fixtures of the 2019/20 season.