Harriott wonder goal sets up 2-1 victory over Macclesfield
That strike, and an own goal ninety seconds later made it thirteen games unbeaten in the league.
They had to hold off late pressure after the away side got a goal back, with Ben Stephens volleying home with twenty minutes to go.
The U’s were ahead after thirteen minutes when Callum Harriott scored a brilliant goal, and certainly one that will go down as a contender for goal of the season.
Kwame Poku did well to set up the Colchester’s second as he fired a cross along the six-yard line that Kelleher deflected into his own goal.
The U's handed a debut to new signing Tafari Moore, who came in at right back for the suspended Ryan Jackson. Theo Robinson was also brought into the team after signing a loan deal until the end of the season in the week, with Luke Norris dropping to the bench.
Callum Harriott was dangerous right from the first whistle, when in the sixth minute he wriggled away from O’Keefe on the edge of the area and slid the ball into Ryan Clampin, who could only find the legs of Reice Charles-Cook in the away goal.
The U’s had a lead in the thirteenth minute after a stunning goal from Callum Harriott. From thirty yards out, he found the top corner, looping the ball over Charles-Cook’s head.
It will certainly be considered as one of the goals of the season when the campaign is over.
Just two minutes later and the U’s had doubled their lead. Poku was the key man this time – he escaped down the right flank before drilling a cross along the six-yard line. Fiacre Kelleher felt he had to get something on the ball and could only turn it into his own goal.
It was a breathless first twenty minutes of the game, but the U's were able to keep control and settle the game down after gaining a two-goal advantage.
Harriott went close again in the twenty fifth minute, shooting just over the bar from outside the area, which was the only real other chance of the first half.
Colchester came out looking for a goal early in the second period and were close to getting it. Prosser latched onto a Callum Harriott corner but couldn’t quite direct into the near post and it went out for a goal kick.
Ben Stevenson nearly grabbed a third for the U’s as he curled a corner towards goal. It needed a smart clearance from Charles-Cook to prevent the central midfielder from scoring direct from a corner.
The U's did have the ball in the net a third time through Theo Robinson after some neat play between Poku and Harriott allowed Robinson to run in behind and dink the ball over Charles-Cook but looked up to see the flag aloft.
In the seventy second minute, Macclesfield did get a goal back. Ben Stephens volleyed the ball past Gerken and into the corner of the net from the edge of the area giving the travelling fans some hope.
Just a couple of minutes later, Robinson would go close again, only to be denied by a fine stop from Charles-Cook. The ball fell to the U’s attacker from a free kick, and he struck straight at the away ‘keeper from point blank range before seemingly being felled by an away defender.
Gerken had to be at his best to prevent an equaliser from Ironside. The Macclesfield number nine shot from just outside the area, and the ball deflected off Tom Eastman’s legs needing a fine stop from the U’s keeper to hold the lead.
The U's had a last-minute chance to put the game beyond all doubt as Poku found substitute Luke Norris with a searching ball.
The onrushing Charles-Cook stopped well again with his leg, before the final whistle blew moments later to confirm the U’s win and extended the unbeaten run to thirteen games.
The 2-1 win for Colchester lifts them up one position to eighth, still three points behind the last automatic spot currently held by Crewe.
The U’s will now focus on a massive game at the JobServe Community Stadium on Tuesday night, when fellow promotion chasing side, Bradford City come to town.