Crawley boss Scott Lindsey saluted his side’s “professional” performance in their 2-1 win at struggling Colchester.

Liam Kelly fired Crawley ahead in the 41st minute with a low shot from Will Wright’s short pass and they doubled their lead in the 64th minute through Danilo Orsi’s penalty, after Nick Tsaroulla had been fouled by Arthur Read in the area.

Joe Taylor reduced the deficit for Colchester in the seventh minute of stoppage time when he lifted the ball past Luca Ashby-Hammond from Owen Goodman’s long clearance but Crawley claimed victory.

Lindsey was delighted with the attitude of his players and was pleased the game went ahead after a pre-match inspection.

Lindsey said: “It was a professional performance from the lads today.

“The players were brilliant, really focused – you could feel it Thursday onwards and at the training ground on Friday – there was a real focus on everything they did.

“You could tell that the players had the bit between their teeth and that’s why I wanted the game on.

“The win was the thing we really focused on. The away form is something that we’ve addressed and something that we wanted to put right.

“We’ve gone from not having great away form to it now being half reasonable, with that result.

“The referee didn’t make the decision on the pitch on his own.

“Me and Matthew Etherington made the decision with him and I was happy to play.

“Whilst it wasn’t great, it may have been a gamble for me because it felt that it might have been a leveller for them.”

Colchester have now suffered four successive defeats and boss Etherington was disappointed to lose against his former club.

Samson Tovide squandered two big early openings for the U’s and substitute John Akinde’s deflected effort hit a post.

Etherington said: “We had two big opportunities and if we take them, the game looks very different.

“They then got their goal and it probably took a little bit of belief out of players after that. We’ve just got to be better in both boxes.

“The second goal is avoidable initially, the way we deal with it – I’m not sure it’s a penalty.

“Those early moments were key to the game. I think if we take one of them, it looks a different afternoon.

“It kind of fizzled out a little bit but I can’t fault the players; they kept going.

“They were looking for something, albeit they couldn’t find it in the end.

“Crawley passed the ball well; they’re a possession-based team and do it well but we’re not getting the key moments right at the minute.

“When I first took over, we were getting the key moments right in both boxes but we’re probably not at the minute.”