Colchester head coach John McGreal felt his side were well worth their 1-0 victory over Northampton.
Luke Norris’ 66th-minute penalty, awarded after Shaun McWilliams had tripped Ben Stevenson in the area, sealed the U’s first Sky Bet League Two win of the season.
McGreal said: “I thought we thoroughly deserved the win. In our games of late, we haven’t been able to get the rub of the green.
“I thought that we had that today but I thought we earned it.
“Their goalkeeper made some fantastic saves and their defenders have made some brilliant blocks. Their defenders were putting their heads and chests on it.
“Nos (Luke Norris) is in good form at the minute and he gives himself a good chance to score from the penalty spot.
“We built it around the edge of the box and Ben (Stevenson) showed good feet as he did the other week when he got a penalty.
“Gams (Luke Gambin) has been really effective from the bench.
“We just felt that 10 minutes into the second half that we could win the game.
“That’s the idea of bringing Gams on to try and force the issue and he definitely did that.”
Norris’ spot-kick settled a tight affair at the JobServe Community Stadium, where both goalkeepers were in good form.
U’s stopper Dean Gerken foiled Sam Hoskins early on and the Cobblers nearly scored again in the 27th minute when left-back Ryan Clampin nodded Vadaine Oliver’s header off the line.
And at the other end, Northampton keeper David Cornell pushed away Jevani Brown’s curled effort just before half-time and then denied Courtney Senior early in the second half.
Cornell also saved from substitute Luke Gambin and Gerken pushed away Nicky Adams’ low shot late on but Northampton were beaten.
Cobblers boss Keith Curle said: “I don’t think that there was a lot in the game.
“I thought both teams huffed and puffed, but their ball retention was better than ours.
“The goal was disappointing and it was lazy defending. If you stick a leg out, people are going to find a way to go over it.
“In our final third, I think we’ve had four shots go over the crossbar. We need to work harder to get more under the crossbar.
“We didn’t move the ball quickly enough and I don’t think we worked hard enough off the ball and in the final third.
“We need to be a bit more creative up front and fight for the ball and retain it more.
“At times, we didn’t work hard enough to get on the ball. But I think defensively, the shape was OK and I thought we nullified a lot of their threat and danger.”