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Colchester character pleases Hayden Mullins after thrilling Barrow victory

Hayden Mullins was pleased with the victory (Nigel French/PA) (PA Wire)

Colchester head coach Hayden Mullins praised his side’s character after an entertaining 3-2 win at Barrow

It was a fiery five-goal thriller which had everything at Holker Street, with both sides seeing a man sent off.

Debutant Jordan Stevens opened the scoring for the hosts, but Alan Judge and Freddie Sears turned the game on its head within three first-half minutes.

Ollie Banks bagged his fourth goal in as many games with a penalty, but Tom Eastman stole the spoils for the U’s.

Luke Chambers and James Jones were shown red in the second half, with Eastman’s winner coming when Colchester were a man short.

Mullins said: “You need character and we showed that in abundance.

“Barrow are a good side – it’s been a long day and it was a tough journey up here.

“I thought we kept them quiet in the first half, albeit we gave them the goal, but we showed character to come back into it.

“To lead the game at half-time was exceptional and it’s always pleasing as a head coach when you stand on the touchline and see that from your team, that they have so much to give.

“It was a really good atmosphere and we wanted to come here and take the sting out of the game and I thought we did that in the first half.

“We had to reset ourselves after they scored and we did that.

“I thought Frank (Nouble) really gave them problems tonight and tried to get in and around them.

“But the character we showed to come back and win, especially after the sending off, was fantastic.”

Barrow boss Mark Cooper was left fuming at the way his side defended in front of their home fans.

The former Forest Green chief said: “We conceded three goals at home and the manner of the goals were amateur.

“There was a lack of concentration and, as well as we played in the second half, you can’t concede those kind of goals and expect to win the game.

“The boys gave everything again, but that lack of concentration cost us.

“We were 1-0 up and then two long punts forward and we’re 2-1 down.

“We can’t defend like that and you have to deal with the long punt forward. They were identical goals and you have to deal better with that.

“We came out and had a right good go in the second half and were camped in their half. We made the pitch big and got the goal.

“They had a man sent off and it looked for all of the money in the world that we would win the game.

“But then they bring a big centre-half on to try and get a point and he scores from a free header from a corner and that was a lack of concentration and discipline.”

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