Colchester extended their unbeaten league run to eight matches with a comprehensive 3-1 win over struggling Tranmere.
The hosts took a seventh-minute lead through on-loan striker David Mooney, who fired decisively past Tranmere goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi after David Perkins' shot had been deflected into his path from Anthony Wordsworth's corner.
Ashley Vincent went close soon after before Wordsworth doubled the Us lead in the 16th minute with a delightful 20-yard free-kick which flew in at the near post. Colchester took further control on the half-hour mark when Magnus Okuonghae headed home from close range, after Andrew Bond had volleyed Wordsworth's free-kick goalwards.
Tranmere improved a little after the break and Enoch Showunmi sent a shot flying over from a short free-kick for the visitors.
Gulacsi denied Vincent and Bond blasted over from close range, before Gulacsi dived to his right to save Wordsworth's penalty with 10 minutes to go.
Showunmi raced through and finished neatly with eight minutes to go for Tranmere's consolation but it was a comfortable win for the Us.