Crawley ended their wait for a home league win as goals from Mark Connolly, Billy Clarke and Nicky Adams saw off struggling Colchester United at Broadfield Stadium.

Connolly gave Reds the lead after just five minutes with his first ever goal in senior football as the home side made a flying start to the match.

Colchester came back into the contest but Clarke doubled the advantage with 19 minutes to go before Adams put the icing on the cake in the 87th minute.

A frist home win since October kept Crawley in eighth place in League One, still a point outside the play-offs, and was the perfect boost ahead of Saturday's FA Cup visit of Reading.

Reds made a blistering start and could easily have been 3-0 ahead within the first ten minutes as Colchester struggled to cope with a barrage of attacks.

The home side had to settle with just one goal but it was a beauty straight off the training ground. # Nicky Adams chipped a free kick to Josh Simpson at the far post who headed it across the six yard box to Billy Clarke. Clarke’s effort was well saved by Mark Cousins but the ball fell nicely to Connolly to stab home from close range.

Adams then saw his goalbound volley blocked on the line while Clarke also went close as Colchester desperately clung on.

Cousins did well to keep out a shot from Hope Akpan as Reds continued to press for a second but the visitors slowly came back into the match.

The Us finished the half the stronger and came close to nicking an equaliser when Dan Potts’ low cross was scrambled away by Joe Walsh.

Colchester continued to have the edge at the beginning of the second half but were unable to trouble Reds goalkeeper Paul Jones.

Cousins was much busier at the other end as he kept out a low volley from Clarke who also had a goal ruled out for offside.

The crucial second goal did arrive in the 71st minute when Clarke pounced on a poor clearance from Cousins before compounding the goalkeeper’s error by beating him at the near post.

Adams wrapped up the points with three minutes to go when he raced onto a ball over the top from Akpan before lobbing Cousins.