Match ends, Stevenage 2, Colchester United 3.
Colchester eased their relegation worries with victory over troubled Stevenage.
The home side took the lead after Michael Doughty slotted past onrushing Colchester keeper Sam Walker.
A Freddie Sears double either side of a Jabo Ibehre strike gave the visitors a two-goal cushion.
Luke Freeman's free-kick reduced the deficit, but it was too little too late as the hosts also had Filipe Morais sent off for dissent.
Colchester are now three points clear of the relegation zone in 18th place, but Stevenage look to be in serious danger as they lie four points away from safety with four games to play.
Stevenage manager Graham Westley told BBC Three Counties Radio:
"Our work ethic was not at the level that it takes to win. I always ask for a little bit more not a little bit less, and we've had a tendency this year to do a little bit less.
"You look at the mentality of the team; I think there's some good individuals there. I don't think some of the individuals have learned yet to be team players and spread the winning habit.
"We got ourselves ahead today and took the game to them. And once we did we were happy to stay in the comfort zone of defending our lead. As much as I tried to urge the team to do a little bit more and take the game to them, it didn't seem until we were 3-1 down that we really wanted to take the initiative.
"If the impossible is going to become possible, the work ethic has got to go up, the discipline has got to go up, the sense of responsibility has to go up and we've got to be prepared to play the game that we work on all week."
Colchester United manager Joe Dunne told BBC Essex:
"Overall I thought the first half was a bit scrappy. Edgy game, two teams looking edgy also.
"We tactically changed it during the first half and we started to get the ball down and really play.
"I thought second half we were magnificent, so I have to pay great credit to the players for that.
"The important key to today was we were first to everything. We were first to the loose balls, we were pressing, closing down. It sets a tempo."
- 8MousinhoBooked at 80mins
- 33HendersonSubstituted forMoraisat 59'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 11AkinsSubstituted forBurrowat 69'minutes
- 24DoughtySubstituted forHeslopat 74'minutes
- 2WrightSubstituted forOlufemiat 45'minutes
- 18EastmanBooked at 90mins
- 4OkuonghaeBooked at 87mins
- 21MasseySubstituted forVoseat 85'minutes
- 11SearsSubstituted forMorrisonat 85'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 7Sanchez Watt
- Mark Heywood
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Stevenage 2, Colchester United 3.
Attempt missed. Luke Freeman (Stevenage) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.
Curtis Obeng (Stevenage) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Jabo Ibehre (Colchester United).
Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Curtis Obeng.
Clinton Morrison (Colchester United) is shown the yellow card.
Filipe Morais (Stevenage) is shown the red card for fighting.
Tom Eastman (Colchester United) is shown the yellow card.
Goal! Stevenage 2, Colchester United 3. Luke Freeman (Stevenage) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Luke Freeman (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dominic Vose (Colchester United).
Magnus Okuonghae (Colchester United) is shown the yellow card.
Substitution, Colchester United. Dominic Vose replaces Gavin Massey.
Substitution, Colchester United. Clinton Morrison replaces Freddie Sears.
Attempt missed. Bira Dembele (Stevenage) header from the right side of the six yard box is too high.
Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by Sam Walker.
Attempt saved. Luke Freeman (Stevenage) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt saved. Luke Freeman (Stevenage) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Bira Dembele.