Crawley top scorer Billy Clarke hit his ninth goal of the season to help beat struggling Colchester for Town's first home league win in nine weeks.

Defender Mark Connolly fired Crawley ahead from close range on five minutes, after U's keeper Mark Cousins had only parried Josh Simpson's header.

Clarke then latched on to Cousins's hurried clearance to fire into the top corner against his old side.

Nicky Adams's clever chip from 18 yards two minutes from time sealed victory.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Crawley Town assistant manager Anthony Williams told BBC Sussex:

"It was a difficult game. We started well, but they're a good side and they can play a bit of football. It's a difficult pitch to play on but we stuck in there.

"I think sometimes you've got to ride your luck and I think we did that in the second half.

"It was a good team performance and the pleasing thing is they worked hard for each other and got their rewards."

Colchester United manager Joe Dunne told BBC Essex:

"Three-nil is a bad result. I didn't think it was a 3-0 game.

"I thought there were a lot of positives but we started the year how we finished it, which is not what we wanted.

"I could take a tape recorder into the dressing room and just press play because I'm saying the same things again and again.

"We do work at it. We've talked about things and unfortunately you've seen sloppy goals again."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Crawley Town

  • 01 Jones
  • 03 Sadler
  • 04 Connolly
  • 12 Walsh
  • 13 Hunt Booked
  • 06 Akpan
  • 11 Simpson
  • 16 Adams
  • 21 Jones (Byrne - 83' )
  • 07 Clarke (Bulman - 88' )
  • 09 Alexander Booked (Jonte Smith - 90' )

Substitutes

  • 25 Kuipers
  • 19 Byrne
  • 08 Torres
  • 15 Bulman
  • 18 Cooper
  • 14 Ajose
  • 23 Jonte Smith

Colchester

  • 01 Cousins
  • 04 Okuonghae
  • 06 Heath
  • 20 Wilson
  • 41 Potts
  • 10 Izzet (Porter - 73' )
  • 15 Bean
  • 22 Wordsworth Booked
  • 09 Morrison
  • 21 Massey (Compton - 68' )
  • 30 Wright

Substitutes

  • 35 Pentney
  • 03 Rose
  • 14 Bond
  • 28 Gilbey
  • 39 Porter
  • 11 Sears
  • 33 Compton
Ref: Scott
Att: 3,160

Match Stats

Shots

13 6

On target

10 3

Corners

3 5

Fouls

16 14

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:33 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

90:00 +1:25

Indirect free kick taken by Dannie Bulman.

90:00 +1:25 Booking

Booking Anthony Wordsworth is booked.

90:00 +1:20

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Hope Akpan by Anthony Wordsworth.

89:45 Substitution

Substitution Jonte Smith is brought on as a substitute for Gary Alexander.

89:45

Shot from deep inside the area by Hope Akpan clears the crossbar.

89:07

Outswinging corner taken by Nicky Adams, clearance made by Marcus Bean.

87:39 Substitution

Substitution Dannie Bulman comes on in place of Billy Clarke.

86:13

Hope Akpan provided the assist for the goal.

86:13 Goal scored

Goal! - Nicky Adams - Crawley 3 - 0 Colchester Nicky Adams grabs a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Crawley Town 3-0 Colchester.

82:55 Substitution

Substitution Mike Jones goes off and Nathan Byrne comes on.

82:32

Mike Jones takes a shot. Blocked by Magnus Okuonghae.

77:54

Unfair challenge on Mike Jones by Drey Wright results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Mat Sadler.

76:33

Effort from the edge of the box by David Hunt goes wide of the right-hand upright.

74:18

Clinton Morrison challenges Nicky Adams unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Connolly takes the indirect free kick.

73:50

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Potts by Nicky Adams. Mark Cousins takes the free kick.

72:20 Substitution

Substitution Kem Izzet leaves the field to be replaced by George Porter.

72:20

Free kick taken by Mark Cousins.

72:20 Booking

Booking David Hunt booked.

72:09

Unfair challenge on Jack Compton by David Hunt results in a free kick.

70:08 Goal scored

Goal! - Billy Clarke - Crawley 2 - 0 Colchester Billy Clarke gets on the score sheet with a goal from just inside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Crawley Town 2-0 Colchester.

68:38

Unfair challenge on Jack Compton by David Hunt results in a free kick. Daniel Potts takes the free kick.

66:54

David Hunt takes the free kick.

66:54 Substitution

Substitution Gavin Massey leaves the field to be replaced by Jack Compton.

66:54

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mike Jones by Kem Izzet.

65:53

Billy Clarke is ruled offside. Mark Cousins takes the free kick.

63:57

Unfair challenge on Anthony Wordsworth by Mark Connolly results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Anthony Wordsworth.

59:53

Foul by Gary Alexander on Kem Izzet, free kick awarded. Anthony Wordsworth takes the indirect free kick.

58:34

Billy Clarke takes a shot. Corner from the left by-line taken by Nicky Adams, save made by Mark Cousins. Clinton Morrison manages to make a clearance.

56:57

Drey Wright concedes a free kick for a foul on Mat Sadler. Paul Jones takes the indirect free kick.

55:56

Corner taken right-footed by Brian Wilson to the near post, save made by Paul Jones.

54:46

Hope Akpan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Drey Wright. Free kick taken by Anthony Wordsworth.

52:24

The referee blows for offside. Paul Jones takes the indirect free kick.

51:02

Daniel Potts fouled by Billy Clarke, the ref awards a free kick. Matt Heath restarts play with the free kick.

48:53

Gary Alexander is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Mark Cousins.

47:49

Corner taken by Anthony Wordsworth, save by Paul Jones.

47:26

Drey Wright takes a inswinging corner.

46:39

The offside flag is raised against Gavin Massey. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Jones.

46:01

Daniel Potts takes a shot. Blocked by Josh Simpson.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:00 +1:05 Half time

Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.

44:00 Booking

Booking Gary Alexander booked.

43:41

Foul by Gary Alexander on Matt Heath, free kick awarded. Mark Cousins restarts play with the free kick.

42:15

Anthony Wordsworth takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.

40:00

David Hunt gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gavin Massey. Anthony Wordsworth takes the direct free kick.

39:35

Gary Alexander takes a shot. Save made by Mark Cousins.

38:55

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Matt Heath by Gary Alexander. Free kick taken by Mark Cousins.

38:21

Gavin Massey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mark Connolly. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Jones.

37:51

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Alexander by Matt Heath. Gary Alexander takes the free kick.

36:54

Foul by Hope Akpan on Kem Izzet, free kick awarded. Matt Heath takes the indirect free kick.

34:59

Marcus Bean fouled by David Hunt, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Anthony Wordsworth.

34:06

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mike Jones by Gavin Massey. Paul Jones takes the indirect free kick.

33:42

Corner taken right-footed by Drey Wright to the near post, Mat Sadler makes a clearance.

33:23

Anthony Wordsworth takes a shot. Blocked by Mark Connolly.

32:27

Corner taken by Anthony Wordsworth from the right by-line, Matt Heath takes a shot. Save by Paul Jones.

29:20

Daniel Potts is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Jones.

28:35

Joe Walsh gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Clinton Morrison. Clinton Morrison takes the indirect free kick.

25:09

Corner taken left-footed by Billy Clarke, Mark Cousins makes a save.

24:40

Hope Akpan takes a shot. Save made by Mark Cousins.

21:45

Joe Walsh concedes a free kick for a foul on Magnus Okuonghae. Mark Cousins restarts play with the free kick.

20:55

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mike Jones by Anthony Wordsworth. Nicky Adams restarts play with the free kick.

18:52

Unfair challenge on Gary Alexander by Matt Heath results in a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Mat Sadler from the free kick, save by Mark Cousins.

18:02

Free kick awarded for a foul by Anthony Wordsworth on Nicky Adams. Paul Jones takes the free kick.

16:32

Gary Alexander takes a shot. Mark Cousins makes a save.

15:06

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marcus Bean by Nicky Adams. Daniel Potts restarts play with the free kick.

14:46

Anthony Wordsworth takes a shot. Blocked by Josh Simpson.

13:12

Billy Clarke has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.

12:27

Foul by Clinton Morrison on Josh Simpson, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Jones.

10:16

Clinton Morrison fouled by Mat Sadler, the ref awards a free kick. Drey Wright takes the free kick.

8:59

The referee blows for offside against Drey Wright. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Jones.

7:19

Free kick awarded for a foul by Matt Heath on Billy Clarke. Mat Sadler takes the free kick.

6:02

Nicky Adams takes a shot. Clearance made by Matt Heath.

4:56 Goal scored

Goal! - Mark Connolly - Crawley 1 - 0 Colchester Mark Connolly grabs a goal from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Crawley Town 1-0 Colchester.

3:54

Unfair challenge on Billy Clarke by Magnus Okuonghae results in a free kick. The ball is crossed by Nicky Adams,

2:43

Drey Wright has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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