Wigan’s first venture into PDL2 football was to be a successful one as they came to Florence Park on a wet - and very wet at times - afternoon which saw them return home with the three points.
Indeed for the first thirty minutes the U’s had done well, but a bad defensive error was to cost them dear as they lost initially a player and then a goal after a deliberate handball in the box by captain Matthew Weaire.
When the match started he had made two good powerful headers clear and it was to be his presence at the back that Colchester were to sorely miss later on.
The visitors started the game brightly and Tyler Golden got past Michael Fernandes, but then pulled his shot wide of the left hand post, and then the cross by Olly Crankshaw just eluded the head of Joe Piggott arriving in the centre.
The rain then began and now it was the U’s starting to get into the game, as a good burst forward down the left by Ryan Clampin, saw him playing a one-two with Fernandes, before Clampin was fouled by Jack Sanders.
The free kick was then played to the left for Clampin to cross, but the header by Danny Collinge was straight into the arms of Athletic’s keeper James Aspinall.
The visitors were so close to taking the lead on 17 minutes when a loose ball ran to Piggot who strode forward and a superb strike by him flew back off Bailey Vose’s right hand post.
A very positive run down an inside right channel by Kwame Poku saw him earn a free kick, which Louis Dunne from the right outer edge of the box, some 25 yards out, sent over the bar.
As the away team then broke, Chris Merrie played in Charlie Jolley, but it was an easy save by keeper Vose as he was down to deal with it.
The visitors immediately broke but Jolley shot straight at Vose but then the game was to dramatically change.
Weaire was indecisive in his own box and was robbed and when the ball was laid back to a team mate, in trying to correct his error Weaire stretched across and blocked the shot with his arm and got a red card.
It was from the spot that Piggott duly put away the penalty kick low to Vose’s right.
Now down to ten players, Colchester had a battle on their hands but soon went close again on 34 minutes. Poku made a good run and turned to square across to Dunne on his right, but the Wigan keeper dived across to his left clawed the ball away.
The second half saw the players greeted by even heavier rain and any hopes of a revival were soon to be made even more difficult as a deep cross from the right saw Collinge trying to hook the ball clear, but that attempt was to be very unsuccessful as he merely sent it towards his own goal, for Piggott to then convert from very close range.
A challenge by Crankshaw on Jake Hutchinson saw him booked and then the hosts went very close again. Vose caught a Wigan corner and his throw out saw a storming run down the left by Dean Ager, but he was denied as the keeper saved low down to his left to push away for a corner.
Wigan then built well down the left and the pass by Piggott found Crankshaw on his left and he slipped his shot wide to Vose’s left to make it 3-0.
Colchester United: Bailey Vose, Luke Ige, Danny Collinge, Matthew Weaire, Ryan Clampin, Dean Ager, Louis Dunne, Cameron James, Michael Fernandes, Kwame Poku, and Jake Hutchinson
Used subs: Callum Anderson and Al-Amin Kazeem and unused subs: Callum Coulter, Ollie Sims and Billy Cracknell