Wayne Brown praised long-serving defender Tom Eastman after he scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner to seal Colchester a 1-0 victory over Bradford.
Eastman, making his 400th league appearance for the U’s, headed in Noah Chilvers’ free-kick in the seventh minute of time added on to seal the hosts their first league win of the season.
Colchester boss Brown said: “What a way to top his 400th league game off, by scoring the winner.
“It’s a massive, massive effort from Tom.
“They say that loyalty is not there in the game anymore these days but that proves to everyone that it is.
“He’s been a fantastic servant for the club.
“I think we fully deserved the victory tonight against what is a very good team.
“Any goal is important but the timing of the goal with a minute left of the seven that were added in injury time, it’s always nice getting the winner that late on.
“We hit the bar, we had one cleared off the line, we had two cutbacks from probably 10 yards which both hit the target and one that didn’t hit the target from 10 yards.
“What pleased me tonight more than anything was it showed the little bit of detail that we put in yesterday.”
Frank Nouble’s header rattled the crossbar for Colchester in the first half, while Alex Newby was denied by Bradford keeper Harry Lewis.
But Bradford almost broke the deadlock when Vadaine Oliver’s header flashed just wide and after the break, Sam Hornby made a fine save to deny substitute Kian Harratt, before Eastman struck.
Bradford almost snatched an equaliser at the death when substitute Andy Cook hit a post while just before Eastman’s goal, the visitors were denied a penalty when substitute Lee Angol tumbled in the box.
Bradford boss Mark Hughes said: “We’re disappointed and in fairness, I thought we played OK tonight.
“I asked the referee why he didn’t give it and he said he did not think it was a penalty.
“He also said he was going to book Lee (Angol) for diving and then decided against it.
“I’ve got to be careful what I say but I just felt there were a lot of decisions that went against us.
“I thought we were the better side tonight and the only side that wanted to play.
“Colchester had a five-minute spell at the end where they got brave enough to have a go.
“They weren’t prepared to do that for 85 minutes.
“They got their reward but it was very harsh on us but I thought the lads did OK and had plenty of chances.
“You get those little breaks in games that today we haven’t had and that’s the disappointment.”
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