Reds start 2013 with 3-0 win
Scots are usually celebrating on New Year's Day but at the Broadfield it was a great day for the Irish as Reds began 2013 with their best home win since the opening day of the season.
Irishmen Mark Connolly and Billy Clarke both scored before Nicky Adams got a late third as Reds condemned Colchester to their seventh successive defeat.
At times Colchester carried a threat but Paul Jones didn't have too many alarms and at the other end the home side offered much more of a cutting edge.
Victory keeps Reds eighth and tucked in nicely in the play-off chasing pack and was our first victory at the Broadfield in the league since October 23.
The hosts made the perfect start with a goal after five minutes. Adams floated a free kick to the unmarked Josh Simpson and although Mark Cousins kept out both his volley and Clarke's follow up he was beaten when Connolly fastened onto the loose ball and slammed in his first goal for the club.
Mike Jones nearly scored a minute later but his goalbound shot struck Clarke and on 16 minutes Clarke's cross found Gary Alexander but his header was saved by Cousins.
Colchester gradually came into the game and played some neat football at times with Clinton Morrison a handful up front, but they didn't really test Jones in the first half and Reds had a chance of their own again on 39 minutes. Jones' first-time pass put Alexander away and he elected to take the shot early but it went wide. At the other end Anthony Wordsworth was betrayed by a bad bounce and his shot from 20 yards flew over in the visitors' best move of the first half.
The visitors began the second half brightly but Reds continued to carry the greater goal threat. Cousins showed good reflexes to push away Clarke's angled drive after he had been picked out by Connolly's pass and on 71 minutes Reds doubled their lead. Cousins' clearance was intended for Brian Wilson but Clarke intercepted and hammered an unstoppable shot past the keeper.
Job done and as Colchester looked for a goal to get back in the game Reds threatened on the break. Alexander's cross almost picked out Clarke but with three minutes to go Adams collected the ball in space, spotted Cousins off his line and chipped the keeper, the ball going in just inside the left-hand post.
It was an impressive attacking display by Reds despite a difficult pitch and will put them in good spirits ahead of Reading's visit in the FA Cup on Saturday.