Colchester United picked up their biggest win under the management of Joe Dunne on Boxing Day, as they ran out 4-0 winners over Stevenage on a day to remember at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Visiting keeper Chris Day will want to forget about the first two goals as he was at fault for both, but the U's showed no mercy as they ran out comfortable winners against Boro.
The feeling around the stadium was a world away from the last home game against Notts County, and the U's bounced back from that result with two consecutive wins and two clean sheets too.
They're up to thirteenth, their highest position since September and things are looking brighter as 2014 arrives.
Stevenage threatened early on with some good work from Filipe Morais but from three consecutive crosses into the box could only earn themselves a corner.
Their corner set piece involved all of the attacking players huddled at the front post but a foul was flagged before the ball even made the box and the chance was wasted.
Colchester took the lead with just ten minutes gone after some poor goalkeeping from Chris Day, and it wouldn’t be his only mistake in the game.
Marcus Bean worked the ball to Brian Wilson who had made a wide run before floating a cross into the box, Day looked to have caught the ball but dropped it under pressure.
Blair Turgott was first to the loose ball and gave the U’s an early lead on Boxing Day.
Just five minutes later and the U’s doubled their lead through now top scorer Jabo Ibehre as the result of a free kick taken by captain Brian Wilson.
Stevenage keeper Chris Day again rose to meet the cross but could only flap it in the direction of Ibehre who acrobatically volleyed the ball on the turn to put Colchester deservedly two ahead with 15 minutes played.
The away side looked to dig themselves out and Morais nearly put Francois Zoko through on goal but the striker couldn’t quite reach the over hit ball after a clever run behind the defence.
Colchester pushed on for a third to put the game out of reach and did so deservedly after an excellent run from Dominic Vose led to Craig Eastmond’s second goal of the season.
Vose weaved past his defender into the edge of the box before setting up Turgott whose shot was followed in by Eastmond just in front of goal to make sure of the goal.
Stevenage had their best possession of the half late on but saw chances go missing after Zoko and Luke Jones both headed over.
Chris Day made a start towards redeeming his earlier mistakes with a great save from Luke Garbutt’s free kick which was heading for the top corner.
A late mix up between the defenders and Sam Walker saw the ball run towards an unguarded goal but the mistake was quickly dealt with and cleared.
Colchester went into the break three goals up and still looking dangerous.
Stevenage came out with a point to prove and forced Sam Walker into two saves from as many free kicks.
Around the hour mark Stevenage had a great through Luke Freeman who forced an excellent save out of Walker after a decent counter attack.
Morais received the ball just outside of the box and picked out Zoko who lost his footing over the ball and slipped leaving the ball set up for Freeman to lash a shot at goal but Walker saved brilliantly.
Bruno Andrade and Simon Heslop made way for Lucas Akins and Roarie Deacon midway through the half as the Boro looked to change the game.
Stevenage then had another great chance wasted, this time from a corner, Ben Chorley’s header hit the bar and fell to the sub Akins volleyed wide with keeper Sam Walker on the floor.
The U’s fans welcomed the return of Sanchez Watt who came on for Turgott on the left side of midfield.
Boro top scorer Zoko came very close to a goal when he slid the ball past Walker but his shot was weak and cleared just before it reached the line.
Moments later Eastmond grabbed his second of the game, this time from close range latching onto Watt’s low driven cross following some great work from Vose out wide.
Clinton Morrison and Tosin Olufemi came on for the impressive Ibehre and Wilson with ten minutes to go.
The U’s professionally saw out the remaining minutes to secure their biggest ever win under Joe Dunne and lift the side up to 13th in the league.