Colchester United on a high ahead of Mansfield Town trip

CRAWLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Luke Gambin of Colchester United celebrates after scoring his team's third goal with his team mates and fans during the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between Crawley Town FC and Colchester United FC at The Peoples Pension Stadium on October 29, 2019 in Crawley, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
CRAWLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Luke Gambin of Colchester United celebrates after scoring his team's third goal with his team mates and fans during the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between Crawley Town FC and Colchester United FC at The Peoples Pension Stadium on October 29, 2019 in Crawley, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

In-form Colchester United warmed up for their trip to Mansfield Town on Saturday by winning a League Cup quarter-final place for the first time since 1974 last night.

The U’s battled back to win 3-1 at Crawley Town to progress to the last eight of the Carabao Cup for only the second time in their history.

Goals from Luke Norris, Luke Gambin plus an own goal from keeper Michael Luyambula sealed Colchester’s win after Dannie Bulman had given the Reds a first-half lead.

Head coach John McGreal said: “I can’t credit the boys enough.

“I think it was our 22nd game of the season tonight and the subs were just as important as those who started.

“We knew it was coming round and we knew that this was a tough place for us.

“After a slow start we were able to play a bit of football and I thought that we thoroughly deserved it.

“When it went to 1-1, I thought we were calm and collected and were able to play our football.

“That was the big thing and we were able to play our football at the right time and not get away from what we do.”

“When you get 1,700 of our fans coming over the bridge and supporting us, we want to appreciate them.

“The main thing is that they’re going home delighted and some of the boys weren’t even born in 1974!”

Consistent Colchester have now only lost three of their last 18 games in all competitions this season.

Mansfield and Colchester have drawn six of their last seven clashes at the One Call Stadium, the only home win coming back in November 2002 and the last four drawn.

Colchester’s last win at Mansfield came eight games back in April 1996.