Colchester United have lost 2-0 at Bury, as the Shakers strengthened their promotion hopes.
The U's were the better side in the opening period, but couldn't make that count despite early chances.
It was a different story at the start of the second period, with Bury bossing things and scoring twice through Dom Telford.
There was further woe for the U's in the second half, as skipper Luke Prosser limped off with what looked like a serious ankle injury.
John McGreal made four changes to his starting line-up, and it was the U’s that started the game on the front foot, with the first chance coming after only forty five seconds.
Sammie Szmodics rolled the ball right for Courtney Senior, his mishit shot headed towards the far post and Aimson just beat Mika Mandron to the ball and cleared.
On six minutes, Tom Lapslie controlled the ball on the edge of the box before seeing his volley superbly tipped over the bar by Murphy.
And a third chance in the first ten minutes came for the U’s when Szmodics’ shot was saved by Murphy diving to his right.
Bury had been outplayed in the early stages, but grew into the game and started to put a few dangerous crosses into the U’s box.
Ryan Jackson calmly saw the ball out for a corner from one, and Frankie Kent got a vital touch to another before it could find Maynard.
Lapslie committed a foul a few yards outside the box on twenty seven minutes, but Jay O’Shea shot over.
The U’s combative midfielder then prevented O’Shea from scoring twice in a few seconds, blocking shots on both occasions after a dangerous cross from the left was cleared to the Bury man.
After a wide free kick for the hosts was headed wide, the U’s finished the half strongly and a couple of times, it took good blocks to prevent Murphy being tested.
In injury time, Jackson got in a good position on the corner of the home penalty area, but couldn’t keep his shot down and it flew a couple of yards over the bar.
It was the hosts that had the strong start to the second period, but the key was that they got a goal as a reward, and that proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Gilmartin had already made a save from Telford before a corner was played to the far post.
Maynard won the first header and that allowed strike partner Telford to head into the empty net from close range to open the scoring on forty nine minutes.
The U’s response was positive, and Jackson’s shot was saved at the near post before Sam Saunders went even closer.
After picking the ball up thirty yards from goal, he curled a delightful effort that struck the crossbar with Murphy beaten, and the home lead stayed intact.
Nouble was then denied by a smothering tackle from Aimson, and then the U’s were hit with a double blow around the hour mark.
First, Prosser was helped off after suffering a serious looking ankle injury, and then the hosts doubled the lead.
Maynard tricked Vincent-Young on the U’s left, and his low cross was headed in by Telford from seven yards out.
Saunders was trying hard to produce a comeback on what was his first start, but his free kick was tipped over and he had another shot just over the bar.
The seven minutes of injury time went by with the hosts holding the U’s at arms’ length, and the gap between the U’s and the top seven increased to five points.