'We desperately needed that win' - Colchester United's double marksman Harry Pell
PUBLISHED: 11:42 13 January 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Deadly marksman Harry Pell admitted that there was "a lot of pressure" on Colchester United's players to end their recent winless streak at Port Vale on Saturday, to steer their promotion bid back on track.
Pell obliged with a couple of sweetly-struck goals in a terrific 3-0 victory at Vale Park, a result which lifted the U’s back up to fourth in the table, a mere point adrift of third-placed MK Dons who currently occupy the last automatic promotion slot.
John McGreal’s men had moved into third spot themselves, following a 1-0 win at Stadium MK before Christmas, but a run of just two points from four games had seen them dip out of the top seven, until rallying to complete a league double over Port Vale.
“We desperately needed that win,” admitted midfielder Pell.
“There was a lot of pressure on us in the changing room to win that game. We had been through a difficult spell, just because of the lack of points rather than the way we were playing.
“We try to reach our points tally at the end of each month, so it hurts a little bit when you don’t reach that target.
“But today was fantastic. Everyone played their part, like Brennan (Dickenson) clearing off the line, and Rene (Gilmartin) with his good save. Every little helps, whether it be points or even goal difference at the end.
“If everyone stays fit and concentrates on the end goal, then I don’t see why we can’t achieve our target. This is an energised team to play in,” added Pell.
The U’s shot out of the traps and Mikael Mandron hit the bar after just three minutes, before Courtney Senior broke the deadlock just two minutes later. Senior made room for himself, just outside the box, to receive the ball from Ryan Jackson’s throw-in and then let fly with a right-footed shot that took a wicked deflection to deceive keeper Scott Brown.
The second goal arrived on 17 minutes, this time from a corner which was flicked on, enabling an unmarked Pell to crash home a right-footed volley from eight yards out, at the far post.
It was a cracking finish from Pell, who then celebrated his seventh goal of the season with a wonder 25-yard strike in the 69th minute. Frank Nouble laid the ball off for Pell, whose dipping long-range shot ballooned into the roof of the net to seal the victory.