Colchester came from behind to defeat fellow strugglers Bury to ease their relegation worries, despite having a man sent off after four minutes.
After George Porter's early dismissal for clashing with Mark Carrington, the Shakers took advantage when Craig Fagan finished Steven Schumacher's cross.
Josh Thompson headed the equaliser, before Clinton Morrison curled in just a minute later to put the U's 2-1 up.
And Bury could not find a way past away keeper Sam Walker so go bottom.
Walker produced stunning saves from Nicky Ajose and Jonson Clarke-Harris to secure Colchester's first win in four and move them seven points above the drop zone.
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Colchester United manager Joe Dunne told BBC Essex:
"It was a remarkable win in every sense of the word. We had five players playing who were 50 per cent fit (through illness), we had to leave another five or six at home.
"They've give their all. Let's be honest, we rode our luck, but for all their chances, we'll take it because the courage and the commitment I thought deserved something from the game.
"They've hit the bar, the post, our goalkeeper made great saves, and on another day you'd probably lose it.
"We were attacking when we went down to 10 men, we went 4-3-1-1 and we just felt we score against them."