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Match Reports

U's Record Another Away Win

Measured display guides U's to vital three points

26 December 2017

Colchester United's goalscoring duo Mikael Mandron and Sammie Szmodics were on the mark again on Tuesday, as they guided the U's to a Boxing Day victory.

The U’s got off to a perfect start, taking the lead after just four minutes and they never looked back from there as they recorded yet another win on the road.

Mandron moved onto eight and Szmodics twelve for the season as the U's rose into the play-off spots and well within range of the automatic promotion spots.

Mandron's goal set them on their way, as the U's escaped from some Crawley pressure with Wright setting Mandron away and, as the Frenchman tried to slide the ball into the path of his teammate just inside the box, it was intercepted.

But if Crawley thought the danger was gone, they were wrong. Evina took too long with his clearance and was eased off the ball by Mandron, who smashed the ball home.

The home side continued to see plenty of the ball, but the U’s were the more incisive.

Twice Wright could have got Szmodics in on goal in the box, but the Crawley defence were able to see away the danger.

Roberts fired a free kick over the bar for the home team, before Jackson’s cross was nodded back into the danger area by Mandron, before the Crawley keeper Mersin cut it out.

Crawley man Roberts should then maybe have done better just after the half hour mark, but his shot from close range at the far post was blocked by Eastman and cleared by the U’s.

At the other end, it looked that Szmodics was in on goal as he took it past Yorwerth, but the Crawley defender recovered and toe poked it onto the U’s man for a goal kick.

Szmodics had another chance on the stroke of half time, as he was put in by Vincent-Young, but his shot was blocked at source.

Kent was then booked for bringing a Crawley attack to an abrupt conclusion, as the U’s went into the half ahead.

Comley took aim from distance early in the second half, with his shot easily saved, before Randall cut inside at the other end and struck in a shot that Lapslie blocked.

The U’s got themselves two in front just before the hour mark.

Comley’s timely interception sent Szmodics away and he raced clear of his defender before clipping it over Mersin and into the net.

Crawley substitute Meite nearly got one back but could only direct his header straight at Walker, before Eastman had a long range effort at the other end that went just wide.

Szmodics was bubbling with confidence after his goal and went close again on 65 minutes, smacking in a shot that grazed the top of the bar with the keeper beaten.

Wright then got away from a Walker kick forward and his cross found Szmodics in the area, but his shot is blocked.

Crawley were not out of the game though and Clifford shaped to hit a shot that Kent headed up into the air.

Walker came to collect but was unable to hold and Randall hooked his shot wide of the target.

Then a Crawley corner was headed clear by Mandron and it fell to the feet of Connolly, who smashed a half volley inches wide of the target.

The U’s made their first change with ten minutes to go as Sean Murray replaced Kyel Reid, and a second four minutes later as Kurtis Guthrie returned to league action in place of Mikael Mandron.

It was Wright who had the next chance, exploding into the area and forcing Mersin into a good save at his near post.

Brandon Hanlan replaced Szmodics for the final moments of the match, and the U's saw out the remaining time to ease to another impressive win.

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