Craig Eastmond and Jabo Ibehre's first-half goals saw Colchester defeat Carlisle United.
The lead came after 25 minutes when Eastmond scored from close range after a one-two with Sanchez Watt.
Ibehre converted Watt's cross from six yards out and the assister had a chance for his own goal but he hit the post.
Carlisle had chances and Peter Murphy headed off the crossbar, while Kallum Higginbotham, Mike Edwards and James Berrett all missed free headers.
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Colchester United manager Joe Dunne told BBC Essex:
"I thought it was a really good learning game for us in terms of us having to adapt to what another team did, not only once but maybe twice.
"We scored great goals, we could have scored some more great goals, but there were one or two things that we need to be better that.
"If we want to have a passing game, we'll have a passing game If we want to go toe-to-toe my players have got to be able to stand up and take that.
"If it means grinding out results, we will do that."