The long wait is over! Colchester United celebrate a comfortable win at Cheltenham
Cheltenham Town 0 Colchester United 3
Colchester United finally ended their long winless run, thanks to a blistering second-half performance at Cheltenham tonight.
The U’s bagged three second-half goals, from Craig Slater, Brennan Dickenson and Tom Eastman, to seal a first win in 11 league games, and their first victory in any competition for 14 fixtures.
It was a fine solo goal by Slater, his second for the U’s since his summer move from Kilmarnock, to break the deadlock in the 48th minute.
Neither Denny Johnstone nor Kurtis Guthrie could unleash a shot on the edge of the box, and there seemed little danger when Slater pounced on the loose ball.
There were several covering defenders, but livewire Slater outwitted them all with a strong run across the penalty area before beating keeper Russell Griffiths with a ferocious low drive from 10 yards out.
Slater’s first goal for the U’s had counted for very little, coming in a 2-1 defeat at league leaders Plymouth last month, but his effort at Whaddon Road had the desired effect.
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Dickenson doubled the lead in the 65th minute. Having been teed up by Guthrie, left wing-back Dickenson powered goalwards before thumping an unstoppable shot into the bottom of the net.
It was his fourth goal of the season, but his first since August, and it gave the U’s some much-needed breathing space.
Just three minutes later, the Essex visitors effectively wrapped up the points via Eastman’s first goal since the opening day of the season.
Centre-half Eastman ghosted in at the near post to head home Owen Garvan’s precision corner.
The Robins misery was completed by Harry Pell being sent off, on 87 minutes, for two bookable offences.
It was the U’s first win in 73 days.
CHELTENHAM: Griffiths, Dickie, Parslow, O’Shaughnessy, Cranston, Rowe (sub Munns, 66), Storer (sub Morgan-Smith, 51), Pell, Waters, Wright, Holman (sub Arthur, 66). Unused subs: Kitscha, Barthram, Whitehead, Suliman.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Eastman, Kent, Elokobi, Brindley (sub Vincent-Young, 87), Garvan (sub Fosu, 90+1), Lapslie, Dickenson, Slater, Guthrie, Johnstone (sub Wright, 79). Unused subs: Barnes, Wynter, Bonne, Kamara
Referee: Mark Haywood (West Yorks)
Attendance; 2,276 (140 away fans)