Scunthorpe stretched their unbeaten run to four games with a hard-earned victory against lowly Colchester.
Scunthorpe were indebted to keeper Sam Slocombe for two fine saves from Gavin Massey and Clinton Morrison.
The only goal of the game came from Leon Clarke's penalty after he had been brought down in the box by Matt Heath.
It was Clarke's fourth goal in successive games since joining them on loan from Charlton and left Colchester without a win in eight games.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Scunthorpe United manager Alan Knill told BBC Radio Humberside:
"I'm obviously delighted and pleased for the players. I've got to say it wasn't a classic game but to be honest we didn't expect it to be a classic game, but we did enough to win.
"It doesn't matter who you play or where they are in the league, it's always a tough game. It's who gets the breaks and we got the break with the penalty and thankfully Leon struck it really well.
"It was just a scrappy game. The ball mostly flew about in the middle of the pitch and then second half it opened up a little bit."
Colchester United midfielder Kem Izzet told BBC Essex:
"This is a bit of a tough one to take. The performance we've put in away from home has been more than good enough for a point, maybe all three.
"You get a decision (for the Scunthorpe penalty) like that given against you and it's a bitter pill to swallow.
"When you are at the bottom, like we are at the moment, decisions seem to be going against you more often than not.
"You've just got to work hard on the pitch, off the pitch and keep trying your hardest to grind out a result and we'll keep doing that."