Colchester boosted their promotion hopes and piled more misery on struggling Stockport.
Two goals in the space of five first-half minutes gave the U's victory at the Weston Homes Community Stadium and condemned the Hatters to their sixth successive league defeat.
Colchester were ahead in the 10th minute. Kevin Lisbie headed in his ninth goal of the season from close range after Anthony Wordsworth had played a one-two with David Fox from a corner and crossed.
The U's extended their lead five minutes later through Clive Platt, who followed up to score after Stockport goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams could only parry Kayode Odejayi's effort.
Colchester keeper Ben Williams tipped Paul Turnbull's 25-yard strike over and Peter Thompson hooked just wide for the visitors.
Hatters goalkeeper Fon Williams tipped over John-Joe O'Toole's stinging drive in the opening minutes of the second half and although Stockport threatened at times, they were unable to find a way back into the match.
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