We take a look at the performances of Freddie Sears and Sam Walker.
Liz Owen takes a look at the performances of Colchester duo Freddie Sears and Sam Walker.
The U's picked up an important victory against Coventry City on Saturday to move up to 15th in the League One table.
The striker, who last found the net in the Us 3-0 victory over Gillingham on January 11th, gave the hosts an early lead against the Sky Blues, for whom he made 10 appearances as a loanee back in 2010.
Running on to a long pass forward by Sanchez Watt, Sears found himself in plenty of space as he advanced into the penalty area.
As he coasted through the box on the left, it wouldn’t have been surprising for the striker to opt to square it to a team-mate but he instead chose to take on Joe Murphy himself.
And the 24-year-old left the goalkeeper embarrassed as he slotted the ball through his legs from a difficult angle, scoring Colchester’s first goal at the Weston Homes Community Stadium in over 200 minutes of football.
Sears looked dangerous in an attacking role just behind Clinton Morrison and showed impressive movement as he continually looked to latch on to passes from his team-mates.
After forcing Murphy into a strong catch with a stinging shot just minutes after finding the net, his pace helped him beat the offside trap as he found himself in plenty of space midway through the first half.
Watt had got the better of an advancing yellow shirt to play him in with a smooth through ball, but an outstretched blue sock reached the ball just before Sears could.
Coventry were keeping the Us back line busy during the second half but Sears was still active up front right up until his substitution on the hour-mark, trying in vain to find a way past a more resolute Sky Blues defence down the left.
As the visitors turned up the pressure, Colchester stood firm and goalkeeper Sam Walker’s imposing presence made a difference for his side.
He had already denied the threatening Chuba Akpom on the half-hour mark, diving to his left to defend his net from a low but powerful strike after the forward raced towards him in space.
And the 22-year-old was on hand again to deny goalscorer Callum Wilson 15 minutes before the end as the striker burst through two blue shirts, leaving Walker little option but to make an important save with no outfield players between the two.
Showing maturity beyond his years, Walker commanded his box and wasn’t afraid to pluck Coventry corner kicks from the air or dive at the feet of opponents to claim the ball, allowing the Us to focus their attentions at the other end of the pitch as they strived for a late third goal.