Aaron Hayden scores late winner as Carlisle see off Colchester
Carlisle earned a 3-2 win over Colchester as vice-captain Aaron Hayden pounced to claim hero status late in the game having seen his side pegged back from a two-goal lead.
A first league strike of the season for forward Lewis Alessandra and a fifth in four games for in-form Jon Mellish appeared to set Carlisle on their way.
But the predatory Luke Norris struck from close range just before half-time to set the nerves jangling.
And he made no mistake as he levelled things up from the spot early in the second period when a raised hand from Rod McDonald brought a whistle from the referee.
The Cumbrians were stung, and they dominated the second half but wasted chance after chance to regain the lead.
Joe Riley wasted a golden opportunity, as did Mellish who popped one wide from close range.
But stubborn Colchester were breached for a third time after a Hayden header from a deep corner was cleared off the line. It was kept alive, a deflected effort from Nick Anderton spooned up and Hayden’s eyes lit up as he guided his header past a despairing jump from keeper Dean Gerken.