Phil Ifil was sent off after just 14 minutes for a wild lunge at Manchester United loanee Fraizer Campbell, and the striker exacted revenge six minutes later with the opener after hesitancy in the home defence.
Campbell made it two from the edge of the box before Kevin Lisbie gave the Us hope four minutes later, but Caleb Folan sealed the points for the Tigers at Layer Road to leave Colchester marooned at the foot of the table.
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