Comfortable win for the Reds against Colchester
Crawley Town 3 Colchester United 0
CRAWLEY TOWN condemned Colchester United to their seventh straight defeat thanks to goals from Mark Connolly, Billy Clarke and Nicky Adams.
It was a comfortable win for the Reds in the end, and despite good spells from the relegation-threatened Essex side, Colchester struggled to test Crawley keeper Paul Jones.
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After Saturday's 3-0 defeat to AFC Bournemouth there were three changes for the Reds as Colchester visited the Broadfield. Billy Clarke, Joe Walsh and
Hope Akpan came into the starting line-up at the expense of Shaun Cooper, Dannie Bulman and Claude Davis.
Just five minutes into the game the Reds were ahead when after an Adams free-kick from the right, Josh Simpson's shot was parried by keeper Mark Cousins into the path of Mark Connolly, the young defender stabbing home his first Crawley goal.
And within minutes it could have been 2-0 when Gary Alexander was allowed time and space in the Colchester box but keeper Cousins was wise to the Reds captain's strike.
Crawley continued to dominate, having the best of the chances including a superb shot by Apkan on 23 minutes that the diving Cousins managed to get a hand to.
But despite six straight losses, Colchester were not without chances of their own and Brian Wilson was unlucky not to get on the end of a superb cross from the right by Anthony Wordsworth on 29 minutes.
On 42 minutes the Broadfield crowd had their hearts in their mouth, when an attack down the left had the defence wrong-footed but with the Crawley goal gapping, no-one could get on the end of Dan Potts' cross and eventually Walsh heads clear.
Colchester started the second half as brightly as they had ended the first with Gavin Massey finding a way through the Reds defence and will count himself unlucky to see his ball fall to Walsh to clear.
With 59 minutes on the clock the Reds almost found their second goal when Connolly found Clarke of the left, but the forward's powerful shot was saved by Cousins at the near post.Clarke had the ball in the back of the net after 66 minutes after a neat cross by Mike Jones but the linesman already had his flag up.
But the Reds finally had their second on 71 minutes when Adams put Cousins under-pressure and the keeper kicked straight into the path of Clarke, for the forward to thump into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
And it was 3-0 on 87 minutes when Adams capped off an energetic display with a sweet chip over the despairing Cousins.
Crawley Town: P Jones, Sadler, Hunt, Connolly, Walsh, M Jones (Byrne, 84), Adams, Simpson, Akpan, Clarke (Bulman, 88), Alexander (Smith, 90). Unused subs: Kuipers, Torres, Ajose, Cooper.