Manager Steve Ball expressed his delight at Colchester’s start to the Sky Bet League Two season after they beat Harrogate 2-1 to record back-to-back wins.
After Harrogate had dominated a goalless first half, two goals in as many minutes from Callum Harriott and Ben Stevenson early in the second put the U’s in charge.
Substitute Jon Stead headed in George Thomson’s corner on the hour to reduce the deficit but Colchester held on, to move to ninth in the table.
Ball said: “It was hard work and I’m sure there’ll be lots of analysing going on, especially about our first-half performance.
“But there’s been a lot of change at his football club, with Covid coming in and some really big players at the football club having to move on.
“I’m delighted with how we’ve started the season.
“It’s eight games and one defeat – three wins and four draws – and I’m delighted with that.
“The analysing will be for another day but – right now – I’m delighted with the win today.
“Harrogate are a really, really good side and they remind me a lot of Accrington Stanley how they go about it and how they work for each other.
“They were by far the better side in the first half and there was a huge amount said at half-time, mainly from me and there was a huge reaction – the second half was much better.”
Calvin Miller and Aaron Martin were both denied by Colchester goalkeeper Dean Gerken in the first half, while George Thomson and Lloyd Kerry also went close.
Gerken foiled Thomson just after half-time and Brendan Kiernan rattled a post before Harriott scored a deflected strike from the edge of the area in the 52nd minute.
Stevenson netted with a low 20-yard strike from Jevani Brown’s pass, two minutes later before the visitors reduced the deficit through Stead.
Harrogate boss Simon Weaver said: “It’s really frustrating to lose because I thought we were the dominant team for the vast majority of the game.
“It was just five minutes of madness after half-time where we conceded a deflected goal and a sloppy second goal when we were stretched and we needn’t have been.
“That has cost us big time but we should have been going in at half-time three or four goals up.
“We had a lot of possession and a lot of chances but we were just not cut throat, not by any stretch.
“We had high expectations coming into this level, of acquitting ourselves with passion and energy and confidence that we could hold our end up but we’re doing more than that. We’ve been dominating games.
“I don’t know how we’ve lost the game but (it happens) if you do not punish teams when you’re really on top, which we were.”