Accrington Stanley’s five-game winning streak came to an end as Colchester secured a 1-0 win at the Wham Stadium.
Despite creating more than 30 chances, the Reds could not convert one but remain in the Play-Off positions.
Colchester, who sacked manager Ben Garner five days ago, made it two successive wins as they look to pull away from the wrong end of the League Two table.
Aaron Pickles and Joe Gubbins came into the starting line-up to replace the suspended Jay Rich-Baghuelou and Brad Hills. Matt Lowe returned on the bench after injury.
Colchester created two good early chances. Joe Taylor’s sixth minute shot was cleared off the line by Kelvin Mellor and Arthur Read’s strike was tipped onto the post by Jon McCracken.
Stanley then dominated the opportunities. Shaun Whalley’s strike was pushed away by Owen Goodman while the United goalie parried away a long-range drive from Joe Pritchard.
Tommy Leigh had a free header kept out by Goodman on 25 minutes and Stanley’s No 18 put the rebound over the bar.
Josh Andrews headed over the crossbar and Leigh’s strike was sneaking into the bottom corner under Goodman dived to turn it away.
The Us defence blocked strikes from Leigh and Andrews as Stanley piled on the pressure looking for the opening goal.
At the opposite end Samson Tovide’s strike was pushed away by McCracken on the stroke of half-time.
Pritchard split the Colchester defence at the start of the second half but his final shot was blocked.
Stanley continued to press, Leigh firing over and Whalley having an effort blocked.
Colchester opened the scoring on 57 minutes when Taylor got the ball in his own half and charged forward. His initial effort was saved by McCracken but he picked up the rebound and rifled the ball into the net.
Stanley went on the hunt for an equaliser and Pritchard’s deep free kick to the far post found Andrews but his effort was pushed onto the crossbar by Goodman.
John Coleman made a double substitution on 75 minutes with Jack Nolan and Lowe coming on as they chased the game.
They pressed without testing Goodman and it needed heroics at the other end from McCracken to deny Colchester’s Connor Hall a second.
Goodman pulled off a superb save in added time to deny Andrews an equaliser and Josh Woods headed narrowly wide Stanley threw everything at them in seven minutes of added time.
Dan Martin hit the post and there was a series of goalmouth scrambles but the ball just wouldn't go in the net for Stanley.
Stanley: McCracken, Mellor (Lowe), Gubbins, Pickles, Longelo, B Woods (J Woods), Martin, Whalley, Leigh (Nolan), Pritchard, Andrews
Subs: McIntyre, Shipley, Fernandes, Conneely,
Attendance: 2107 (190 from CUFC)