Colchester bounced back from their Boxing Day humbling against Stevenage to comfortably defeat 10-man Exeter.
The U's lost 6-1 at home on Monday but goals from Anthony Wordsworth and Andrew Bond saw them return to form.
Wordsworth swept home the first from Ian Henderson's pass before Bond made it 2-0 with a calm finish from 15 yards after Steven Gillespie's fine run.
Jake Taylor missed two chances for the Grecians, who had Danny Coles sent off for a professional foul on Karl Duguid.
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Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon:
"It's not total failure for us but it's obviously not a good result.
"They seem to score too easily against us and we didn't look like scoring a goal.
"I don't think the referee had any other choice but to send Danny Coles off."