JJ McKiernan’s fine hat-trick helped 10-man Morecambe claim an impressive 3-1 win at Colchester.
Jordan Slew’s strike hit the inside of a post in the fourth minute for the Shrimps, who took a 21st-minute lead when McKiernan headed home Adam Mayor’s corner.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 36th minute after James Connolly appeared to leave a boot in on Samson Tovide.
But Morecambe doubled their lead in the 53rd minute through McKiernan, who stabbed home from close range after Yann Songo’o had helped on Mayor’s corner.
And it was 3-0 in the 61st minute as McKiernan collected Donald Love’s pass and ran almost the length of the Colchester half before firing a low shot past Owen Goodman to complete his hat-trick.
Cameron McGeehan headed in from close range in the 73rd minute to reduce the deficit from Brad Ihionvien’s assist.
Noah Chilvers blazed a stoppage-time penalty over for Colchester after Songo’o had handled Ihionvien’s shot in the area but Morecambe claimed a deserved victory.