KEITH Curle praised his players’ response after nearly letting a three-goal lead slip before securing a 5-2 win over struggling Colchester United.

Curle celebrated back-to-back wins for the first time since taking charge last month – and only the third time for Latics in League Two this season. But it was less comfortable than it should have been having led 3-0 within the hour.

A Conor McAleny penalty and Alfie McCalmont free-kick gave Latics a 2-0 half-time lead, which captain Carl Piergianni extended in the 56th minute.

But Frank Nouble and Tom Eastman reduced the deficit, before Davis Keillor-Dunn calmed nerves with a stoppage-time double to give the scoreline a more comfortable look.

“I was pleased with the attackers, disappointed with the two goals we gave away because they came from poor decisions, needless decisions, and you get punished,” said Curle.

“It doesn’t matter what level you’re playing at, what standard you’re playing at, if you make the wrong decisions you’re going to get punished.

“But if you make those decisions you’ve got to learn from them, and that’s what makes good players. Overall the reaction was very good.

“To go 3-2, clearly a dangerous scoreline, the physicality that they’ve got, we showed a resolute side to the team, and we still posed an attacking threat.

“We didn’t go into our shell, we were brave enough to compete and were rewarded with the goals.”