MK Dons pulled one back in the second half but couldn’t stop Macauley Bonne scoring a third to finish the game off.
It means that the U's have won two, drawn three and lost just one of their last six league games to move within a point of the top half of the table ahead of the run-in to Christmas.
Colchester started the better of the two teams pushing very high up forcing MK Dons to play between their defenders.
Jabo Ibehre got the first shot of the game away early on when Luke Garbutt dispossessed George Baldock and fed Ibehre whose shot was low and hard but saved.
The away side were patient and looked to counter attack with their best chance of the early period coming through top scorer Patrick Bamford; the loanee found himself one on one with Sam Walker who excellently tipped the ball behind for a corner.
Attacking midfielder Ben Reeves proved a handful for the Colchester defenders but was the only early threat, the U’s midfield confidently played the ball around with a solid early performance that mirrored that of the last home game against Swindon.
On the twenty minute mark U’s found the goal to match their excellent performance, the ball came out of the box straight to Craig Eastmond who hit it on the half volley with his left foot sending it to the inside of the post where it bounced over the line to give Colchester the lead.
Colchester continued to dominate the game and peg Dons back to their own half with some great attacking play down the right hand side between Dickson, Garbutt and Ibehre. The latter was winning everything in the air and giving a man of the match performance.
Then just before the break, U’s found the vital second goal to give them their first two nil lead of the season through Ibehre. The ex-MK Dons man chased Garbutt’s long ball, beating Jordan Spence to the first ball before looping a shot over Ian McLoughlin before following in to tap the ball home.
The U’s went into the half looking as impressive as they have all season with a two goal lead to show for their efforts. MK Dons went in frustrated with manager Karl Robinson making a change in the break and another just five minutes after to try and change their fortunes.
Colchester on the other hand came out looking for a third and nearly found it after just 60 seconds when Magnus Okuonghae had a chance for his second goal in as many home games. The defender’s shot rolled just wide of the post after a scramble in the box.
Just a few minutes after Ibehre squandered another great chance MK Dons clawed one back. Walker made a great save to force a corner but Spence connected to the set piece first to head Dons back into the game.
The rejuvenated Dons looked to build on their goal and came close a second from another corner when Shaun Williams’s header ended up on top netting of the goal. At the other end Dominic Vose impressed for the U’s before being replaced by Macauley Bonne just after the hour mark.
Some good work from Garbutt down the left hand side worked the full back enough room for a cross aimed at Ibehre who managed to get a touch but could only see the header wide. Just minutes later Dons did the same with Darren Potter heading just over from Dean Lewington’s cross.
Macauley Bonne just wide, found himself with space inside the box coming in from the right, the keeper stood still to see the ball go just wide of the far post.
Just a minute later Bonne found himself missing an even better chance when Eastmond’s ball landed at his feet but his side footed shot was saved.
Then just a minute later Bonne buried arguably the harder of his few chances when he let a throw in from Brian Wilson bounce just in front of him before volleying the ball on his left foot. The shot flew from the edge of the box and into the corner leaving McLoughlin frozen still and U’s 3-1 up.
The latter stages of the game were controlled by Colchester as the players high on confidence looked to add to their impressive lead and see the game out which was extended to 97 minutes due to two lengthy injury breaks late on.
Going into injury time Jabo Ibehre made way to great applause as man of the match, coming off for Sammie Szmodics.