Colchester United 3 Blackpool 2

Colchester United made it four wins on the trot to make further advances towards the play-off zone, with a 3-2 victory over managerless Blackpool at Layer Road.

The U's completed a quick-fire double over the Seasiders, having recorded a 2-1 win at Bloomfield Road last month.

Colin Hendry was in charge of Blackpool for that fixture, but he has since departed, giving caretaker boss Simon Grayson a chance to shine. Grayson masterminded a 5-2 win over Scunthorpe last weekend, but his side were well beaten by an in-form Colchester.

Chris Iwelumo netted a brace to boost his goal tally for the season to 10, an impressive start to his Colchester career for the big Scotsman. Iwelumo volleyed home the opener in the 34th minute, and then tucked home a 54th minute penalty to put the U's in charge.

Blackpool responded well, and John Murphy headed home his fifth goal of the season to give Grayson's men some hope on 66 minutes.

But that hope was extinguished by Greg Halford, who ran onto substitute Karl Duguid's wonder pass to ram home the U's third in the 80th minute. Halford had bagged both goals in the win at Bloomfield Road.

Tommy Wright notched a consolation goal in the second minute of stoppage time, but it was too little, too late, for the visitors.

U's boss Phil Parkinson had made just one change to the side that had secured a battling 2-1 win at Rotherham the previous weekend. Jamie Cureton had recovered from a slight strain to the back of his knee, and so was recalled at the expense of midfielder Kem Izzet, who was relegated to the bench.

It was good news all-round for Cureton, because the 30-year-old front-runner had also heard that his loan spell from Swindon had been increased from one to three months.

Only the woodwork denied Colchester an opening goal in the 11th minute. Kevin Watson's initial free-kick was cleared, but Halford whipped in another cross for Iwelumo, who watched as his header clipped the top of the bar and dropped to safety.

Les Pogliacomi kept the scores level with a terrific save in the 21st minute. Wayne Brown flicked on Kevin Watson's corner and Iwelumo's thunderous shot was superbly blocked by Pogliacomi.

Liam Chilvers denied Wright a scoring chance for the visitors, and Colchester broke quickly to pave the way for the opening goal. Halford burst onto Neil Danns' pass and saw his shot diverted inches over the bar by left-back Chris Armstrong.

The U's scored from the ensuing corner. Blackpool skipper Peter Clarke appeared to be blocked off by Chilvers, allowing an unmarked Iwelumo to volley home an eight-yard shot.
Iwelumo was celebrating his 10th goal of the season as he slotted home a penalty early in the second period. The former Stoke and Brighton striker was fouled by Clarke inside the box, and he picked himself up to slide home the spot kick - Colchester's first of the campaign.

Murphy climbed high to head home Morris' cross, to halve the deficit, but Blackpool never created another worthwhile chance before Halford buried his sixth goal of the season to effectively seal the win.

Blackpool have still only won one away league game this term, and their frustrations were summed up by four second-half bookings. Wright's last ditch goal, in the second of three minutes of injury-time, was scant consolation.

Colchester, by contrast, are riding high in the League One table. It is the first time they have won four games on the trot, under manager Phil Parkinson, since his arrival in February, 2003. In fact, it is the first time they have won four on the bounce since January, 2000.