Mikael Mandron's double helped Colchester United beat Crewe Alexandra 3-1 this afternoon and come from behind to win for the first time in 2017.

Mandron scored in both halves and Tom Eastman also netted for the U's as they recovered from falling behind to Jordan Bowery's first-half opener to make it seven points from a possible nine in their last three League Two games.

U’s head coach John McGreal made two changes to his starting line-up for their game against Crewe.

Doug Loft returned to the starting line-up after missing the 0-0 draw at Coventry City with a hamstring injury while Kyel Reid also came back in, after being ineligible to play against his parent club at the Ricoh Arena.

Tom Lapslie missed the game through suspension while Sean Murray missed out due to a knee injury.

Crewe were the better side in the opening half hour and Colchester struggled to find any fluency or coherence.

The visitors might well have been 3-0 up in that time and almost took a 14th minute lead when Tom Lowery’s brilliant pass split the defence but former U’s striker Chris Porter’s low shot flashed inches past the far post.

But Colchester did fall behind midway through the first half.

After a well-worked move by the visitors, Chris Dagnall did well down the left and when his cross found Jordan Bowery at the far post and his effort squirmed past keeper Sam Walker and in.

It was Crewe’s first away goal in more than three and a half hours of football and despite Drey Wright and Brandon Comley seeing efforts go wide of the target, the U’s were second best for a large portion of the first half.

Crewe missed another gilt-edged opportunity when Bowery fired wide at the second attempt from Zoumana Bakayogo’s pass with the goal gaping, after his first effort had been blocked.

And Colchester got back on level terms six minutes before the break through Mandron, who calmly slotted home at the far post after Kyel Reid’s corner had flown across the six yard box.

The U’s went in level at the break and might have taken the lead within three minute of the restart.

Brandon Hanlan raced onto Ryan Jackson’s long pass and escaped Perry Ng’s attention but bundled the ball just wide under pressure from Brad Walker, with the U’s feeling they might have had a penalty.

At the other end, Dagnall’s shot was acrobatically palmed away at a stretch by U’s keeper Sam Walker after Bowery had headed on Brad Walker’s free-kick into the area.

Mandron capitalised on a mistake in the Crewe defence before slamming a shot into the side netting, before Colchester went ahead for the first time in the match on the hour mark.

After Comley had driven the ball into the six yard box, Eastman’s shot came back off the bar but the defender followed up to head in the rebound from close range.

And it was 3-1 just 11 minutes later when Mandron prodded in from close range, after Jackson had raced down the right and delivered a teasing cross.

Crewe keeper Richard made a fine diving save to deny substitute Craig Slater in stoppage-time, as Colchester made it seven points from nine in League Two.