A terrible mix up at the back cost visiting Chesterfield a point as in-form hosts Colchester United continued to make strides up the table with a 1-0 win.
The only goal of the game arrived as early as the tenth minute when Colchester striker Wayne Andrews swept home his seventh goal of the season.
But it was a disastrous mix up at the back which gifted the goal. Defender Ian Evatt allowed Simon Brown's huge kick up field to drop over his head, and neither he, nor on-rushing keeper Carl Muggleton dealt with the bouncing ball.
Both could have cleared it, but they dithered and alert striker Andrews nipped in to take the ball away from them and then slide into the gaping net.
Colchester have not lost a league game at home since a defeat by Swindon at the start of the season, and they never looked like losing this one.
However, the Essex side could not find a second goal. Karl Duguid was unlucky to see his header from a cross by Andy Myers clip the top of the bar in the first half.
Chesterfield, without an away win in the league since Boxing Day, battled hard and they almost grabbed a point in injury time.
Skipper Steve Payne, who was outstanding at the back, eyed up the target from a free kick which was at least 35 yards out.
Payne stepped up to hit the ball sweetly and the long-range effort had the beating of keeper Brown only to cannon back off the bar.
The rebound eventually fell to Payne again, and he was not far off target with his follow-up.
Yet for all Chesterfield's spirit they didn't really deserve anything from this game.
The Derbyshire visitors also had Gus Uhlenbeek sent off for two bookable offences, the second for a foul on substitute Scott McGleish on 89 minutes.
Colchester manager Phil Parkinson said: "We were not effective going forward today, but it was our defenders who won us the game."