Colchester United have lost 2-1 at Crewe Alexandra
Eddie Nolan's late header proved to be the matchwinner, after the U's had led 1-0 at half time.
Sammie Szmodics scored his tenth of the season after ten minutes, but the U's only kept that lead until two minutes into the second period, when Charlie Kirk headed home at the far psot.
Crewe maintained their strong home form in the dying minutes, as Nolan headed home from close range.
It was easy to see that the hosts had a decent home record, they looked confident in possession from the off, and took less than two minutes to get a shot away.
Callum Ainley latched onto a ball into the box, but couldn’t beat Rene Gilmartin in the U’s goal.
It didn’t take the U’s long to get a foothold in the game though, and what a foothold it was.
On ten minutes, Szmodics anticipated a square ball across the home defence from Pickering to Ray and got the ball perfectly onto his right foot with his first touch.
His second touch was even better, drilling his shot across Ben Garrett and into the bottom corner giving the U’s the lead with his tenth goal of the season.
The goal didn’t upset how the hosts wanted to play, but the next clear cut chance went to the U’s.
A set piece found its way to Frank Nouble, he helped it forward with a clever touch but Mikael Mandron could only volley wide on the turn.
That came on twenty four minutes, and four later, the hosts almost got a shot at goal but it was deflected wide by solid U’s defending.
Paul Green then shot over from just outside the box, and the U’s had to withstand a degree of home pressure.
They managed to withstand it, and Courtney Senior then almost capitalised on another defensive lapse, but was thwarted by the onrushing Garrett in the home goal.
And it was the U’s who had the final chance of the half, but Szmodics was off balance when he shot and the chance went begging.
The whistle went after two minutes of injury time, with the hosts having more of the ball but the U’s creating chances whenever they went forward.
At the start of the second period, the U’s got forward and forced a corner when Nouble was stopped in his tracks down the left hand side.
It was at the other end though that the first chance of the half came, and it got the hosts an equasliser.
A throw in resulted in a cross being put into the box, and Charlie Kirk in space at the far post gleefully headed home from close in.
The U’s best chance of the second half came on the hour mark, with Harry Pell completely miskicking when a cross came in from the left.
Szmodics and Nouble had other chances for a U’s winner, but both efforts were blocked before they could test Garrett in the home goal.
With the game petering out, and looking increasingly like it might be points shared, the hosts got a late winner from another cross pumped into the box.
Nolan rose highest in the six yard box, and the hosts maintained their impressive home form.
It was the first time this season that the U’s had lost two games in succession, and they slipped down to eighth place in the table as a result.