Cheltenham Town returned to winning ways as a quick-fire first half brace inspired them to a 3-1 victory over ten-man Colchester at the LCI Rail Stadium.
Irishman Kevin Dawson was the man to spark the Robins into life early in the game as he rose unmarked to power home a header.
It got even better five minutes later when Dawson again found himself in space and fired a swerving shot from 25 yards that deflected off Mo Eisa’s hip and into the bottom corner.
Colchester responded just after the midway point of the half when Sammie Szmodics scored a penalty after handball in the box.
Cheltenham missed a spot kick of their own – with Mikael Mandron sent off - as Brain Graham saw his effort stopped low down to his left by visiting ‘keeper Sam Walker.
The home side did strike moments later, though, as Jamie Grimes turned the ball home from close range to secure all three points.
Manager Gary Johnson made two changes to his line-up as fit-again duo Grimes and Graham returned, but striker Freddie Hinds and Jerell Sellars both missed out through injury.
There was early danger for his side as a wayward back pass found Nicke Kabamba, but he delayed his shot and was crowded out by Scott Flinders before shooting wide.
The Robins forced a series of corners before the opener arrived as Jordan Cranston swung over an inviting ball and an unmarked Dawson flicked a header home.
Moments later the lightening quick Eisa wriggled free down the right wing and sent over another teasing ball for Morrell to steer narrowly wide.
The home side did go 2-0 up after a quarter of an hour when Dawson let fly from 25 yards out and his shot swerved in, via small deflection, and past a stranded Walker.
Colchester were handed a way back into the game on 25 minutes when a long ball into the box was adjudged to have hit Taylor Moore’s arm and up stepped Szmodics to convert.
The hosts looked to respond, with Graham freeing Eisa to skim a low drive past the upright before the striker took down a swinging ball and tested Walker’s handling.
Colchester nearly grabbed a leveller seconds from the interval, as Szmodics hit a sweet volley from the edge of the box that Flinders grabbed at the second attempt.
Drew Wright came on at the start of the second half and the Colchester sub almost struck after two minutes as he collected a poor headed clearance but rifled wide.
Harry Pell dragged a shot wide before the game exploded into life just before the hour as Mandron was sent off for a handball. Graham, though, saw his penalty saved low to his left by Walker.
The home side did extend the lead two minutes later, however, as Eisa crossed low to the back post and Grimes popped up to smash home the loose ball.
Eisa again went close, after Jaanai Gordon found him in the box, while Colchester still retained a threat, despite a numerical disadvantage, as Vincent-Young riffled wide.
Jaanai Gordon and Danny Wright went close in the dying minutes for the Robins while Vincent-Young blazed wastefully over the bar from six yards out in the final seconds.
CHELTENHAM TOWN: Flinders; Cranston, Grimes, Moore, Winchester, Pell, Morrell, Storer (Boyle 60), Dawson (Gordon 60), Eisa, Graham (Wright 79). Subs not used: Flatt (Gk), O’Shaugnessy, Bower
COLCHESTER UNITED: Walker, Jackson, Lapslie (c), Szmodics, Comley (Murray 63), Kabamba (Hanlan 60), Eastman, Mandron, Vincent-Young, Inniss, James (Wright 45). Subs not used: Kinsella, Kpekawa, Odelusi, Gilmarton (Gk)
REFEREE: T Nield
ATTENDANCE: 2,718 (200 from Colchester)