Darren Bent fired Sunderland into the Carling Cup third round with a helping hand from Colchester keeper Mark Cousins as they won 2-0 at the Stadium of Light.
Bent, who scored 25 goals last season, took his tally for the new campaign to three in as many games, although he will rarely be presented with more gilt-edged chances as those which came his way tonight.
Cousins' misjudgment handed the former Tottenham frontman the opening goal with 20 minutes gone, and a handling error 17 minutes later gifted him his second.
Anthony Wordsworth almost dragged the visitors back into it with a 43rd-minute header which Simon Mignolet turned on to the bar at full stretch, but Steve Bruce's men headed for the dressing room knowing the game was all but won.
Mignolet had to make a solid stop from striker Kayode Odejayi's header, but he was extended much further to keep out midfielder David Perkins' curling left-foot shot as the U's rallied.
Substitute Martyn Waghorn was unfortunate not to cement Sunderland's victory with 15 minutes remaining when his long-range effort beat Cousins but rattled the crossbar as the hosts coasted through.