Yeovil Town's worst performance of 2013 saw their nine-game winning run come crashing to an end as Colchester United made the most of dreadful defending to win 2-0.
The Glovers were second best all night in npower League One with goals in each half from Billy Clifford and Freddie Sears earning the U's victory.
Only a late winner for Coventry City at AFC Bournemouth kept Gary Johnson's men in the top six, with his side getting exactly what they deserved in Essex.
Injuries to James Hayter (foot) and Jamie McAllister forced Johnson into two changes to the side that drew with Doncaster Rovers.
Crystal Palace loanee Kwesi Appiah made his first start in attack, whilst Nathan Ralph came in at left back. Middlesbrough's Matt Dolan passed a fitness test to be named amongst the substitutes.
The visitors weathered a shaky start to threaten on five minutes, Paddy Madden's volley from Ed Upson's cross blocked and Sam Foley blazing over.
On 17 minutes Colchester half-cleared a Yeovil attack, Joe Edwards then crossing for the disappointing Appiah to wastefully head over.
An awful Edwards pass on 24 minutes only served to launch a United attack, Freddie Sears breaking into the box but seeing his deflected shot gathered by Marek Stech.
The Glovers' midfielder again created unnecessary danger for his defence two minutes later as Stech nervously cleared to touch.
Colchester burst down the right from the subsequent throw, earning a corner where Magnus Okuonghae headed wide despite his run going unnoticed.
On 35 minutes Ralph picked out Madden in the box with a wide free kick but the bounce of the ball took it away from the sliding striker.
Seconds later Billy Clifford was invited to run at goal, forcing Stech into an acrobatic tip over the bar.
Three minutes before the break Upson spurned Yeovil's best chance of the period when former Glovers' loanee Sam Walker beat away his first time effort from Edwards' pull back.
As the game entered stoppage time, Clifford as again inexplicably given the freedom of the Weston Homes Community Stadium, running at goal before unleashing an unstoppable right foot effort to give United a lead Yeovil could have no arguments with.
Johnson's half time words seemed to have little effect on the visitors as Jabo Ibhere was given space to shoot from 18 yards, Stech at full stretch to push away.
On 56 minutes Madden had two attempts at shooting from distance. The first was blocked and the second straight at Walker.
Colchester doubled their advantage six minutes later, making the most of more dire defending.
Left back Bradley Garmston nicked possession from substitute Lewis Young and was allowed to run from midway inside his own half to the byline, finding the unmarked Sears to fire home at the near post.
Having shown little signs of genuinely troubling Walker, the Glovers continued to huff and puff, the keeper keeping out Dan Burn's towering header at Upson's 76th minute corner.
Two minutes later Luke Ayling broke into the box and was bundled over by Gavin Massey but no penalty was given.
Upson tried his luck from distance in added time but Walker parried as the Glovers paid for a dismal display with defeat.
Colchester United (4-4-2) - Walker; Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, Garmston (Thompson, 79); Massey, Bond, Clifford, Porter (Wright, 90); Sears, Ibhere. Unused subs: Morrison, Gilbey, Cousins, Compton, Bean.
Goals: Clifford 45 +1, Sears 62.
Yeovil Town (4-4-2) - Stech; Ayling, Webster, Burn, Ralph; Dawson (Dolan 76), Upson, Edwards, Foley (Young, 57); Madden, Appiah (Williams, 63). Unused subs: Hinds, Blizzard, Stewart.
Ref: Steve Rushton (Staffs).
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COLCHESTER UNITED 2-0 YEOVIL TOWN - IN PICTURES