Super sub Chris Porter proved spot on again last night to give Sheffield United a sixth successive win as he slotted home an 87th minute penalty. He had been on the pitch just four minutes.
Pre-match Blades manager Nigel Clough was mindful of the fact that United have already won there this season, 3-2 in the first rouind of the FA Cup last November.
He said: “Players certainly remember who they’ve lost to, especially at home.”
Colchester were without Sanchez Watt who was serving the second game of a three-match suspension.
Murphy and then Sears for Colchester saw efforts end wide inside the opening 20 minutes.
A Scougall shot and a Brayford header were saved as United looked to continue their impressive sequence of results.
Harris was the next to try his luck but saw his drive blocked then Baxter was high and wide just past the half hour mark.
Just before half-time Scougall had another attempt that was saved.
In the 58th minute Baxter was too high with a free kick
Minutes later Baxter hit the post with a right foot shot as United attempted to break the deadlock.
With 10 minutes remaining United send on Flynn for Murphy.
Baxter had a shot saved before Doyle was off target. With seven minutes to go United made another substitution, with Porter coming on for Baxter and he made an immediate impact by putting United in front, finishing in the bottom corner.
It came in the 87th minute after Sears brought down Davies and Porter converted the resulting penalty.
Hill replaced Davies as full time beckoned.
Colchester: Walker, Wright, Dickson, Okuonghae, Morrison, Sears, Bean, Ibhere, Eastman, Wilson, Vose. Subs: Cousins, Eastmond, Massey, Sanderson, Olufemi, Sesay, Bonne.
United: Howard, Brayford, Collins, Maguire, Harris, Davies, Doyle, Coady, Murphy Scougall, Baxter. Subs: Hill, Flynn, Porter, Miller, Paynter, Long, Kennedy.
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxon).