Last minute winner earns U's a Third Round place.
In what turned out to be a full on, proper cup tie, Altrincham pushed the U's to the limit, but Wayne Brown's men fought back from behind twice, before winning the game in injury time.
Colchester United made it through to the Third Round in dramatic style on Sunday afternoon, as Callum Harriott broke Altrincham's hearts with virtually the final kick of the game.The visitors got off to the perfect start as Jake Moult scored a spectacular goal with an audacious chip from 30 yards that caught Jamie Jones off his line with only three minutes on the clock.
The U's responded quickly and had chances to level as Callum Harriott and George Moncur both had efforts go narrowly wide.
Simon Richman then tested Jamie Jones who made a good save down to his left hand side.
After 13 minutes, the U's equalized as Callum Harriott coolly slotted past Tim Deasy from 12 yards after being sent through by Marvin Sordell.
It was nearly two in two minutes, for United as Gavin Massey squared a ball across the 6-yard box but neither Moncur nor Sordell could apply the finishing touch.
The game had died down until 35 minutes were when Gilbey went into the book for a coming together with Altrincham striker Michael Rankine; the resulting free kick was struck well by Jordan Sinnott and Jones parried the shot round the post.
The last chance of the half came to Altrincham, but Scott Leather couldn't convert and looped his header onto the roof of the net.
Altrincham started the second half in even better fashion the first; Michael Rankine chased down a loose ball, bustled his way past Eastman and scored low past Jones.
Like in the first half, The U’s responded well to going behind as Sordell fired just wide from the edge of the box.
The U's equalized within 5 minutes of going 2-1 down as Tom Lapslie was the quickest to react to a Sordell cross and headed past Deasy.
The game began to get a bit scrappy and both teams were trying their luck from distance, Eastman went the closest for Colchester with a well-struck effort from all of 35 yards flying just past the post.
Nicky Clee tried his luck from outside the box for Altrincham but his effort was well wide of Jones' post whilst Moncur was unlucky not to score a free kick with as Deasy leapt across his goal to tip it wide with the game entering its last 10 minutes.
Seconds after the fourth official announced there would be 4 minutes added time, Harriott forced Deasy into yet another great stop, before Clee broke through and Jones produced an excellent save to deny what would surely be a match-winning goal.
A replay seemed destined but there was a final sting in the tail.
The U's went forward and with the last attack of the game Callum Harriott was on hand to rifle a half volley into the net to make it 3-2 to the U's.
The U’s progress to the Third Round of The FA Cup with the draw being held on Monday evening.