Ashley Nadesan scored twice with two headers as Crawley made light of a three-week lay-off to comfortably beat Colchester 3-1 at the Broadfield Stadium.
It is the first time in over a year that Crawley had scored more than two goals in a home league game.
Colchester, back in action after four successive postponements, rallied late on but could not get back on terms and have now failed to win any of their last seven away league games.
The visitors, seeking their first away league goal since early September, threatened early on and, after Tom Eastman headed wide, Alan Judge was denied by Crawley goalkeeper Glenn Morris after being put through by Freddie Sears.
However, it was Crawley who drew first blood in the 15th minute when a cross by Tom Nichols found fellow striker Nadesan at the near post and his header gave keeper Jake Turner no chance.
It got better for the Reds eight minutes before the break when a move involving James Tilley and Kwesi Appiah resulted in veteran defender Joel Lynch stabbing the ball home from close range.
Colchester enjoyed more possession at the start of the second half but their defence was breached again in the 59 minute when Nadesan headed in his second goal from Appiah’s cross.
Midfielder Judge had a sharp chance for the U’s but his first-time was kept out by keeper Morris with his legs.
Lynch came close to recording his second goal when he put the ball over before Brendan Wiredu forced Morris to save at the other end.
Crawley midfielder Jack Powell fired a free-kick against the bar before Colchester’s leading scorer Freddie Sears, with his 10th goal of the season, netted a consolation goal from close range 11 minutes from time.
Source : Sky Sports