Sutton shrugged off Saturday's last minute defeat at Rochdale, and the concession of an early goal here, to move up to sixth place in SkyBet League Two.
When Freddie Sears produced a smart turn and shot in only the second minute, U's supporters might have feared a hangover from Saturday's late hammer blow, but most if not all of them will have realised by now that their team are made of sterner stuff, and having equalised within ten minutes, U's went on to claim a victory which, if not always comfortable even after having gone 3-1 up, was deserved.
The start was hardly ideal, though, as League Two's lowest scorers took their season's total in to double figures with less than two minutes gone, Sears collecting a cross from Charlie Daniels and, despite being surrounded by four Sutton defenders, managing to turn and shoot low in to the corner of the net, but Sutton's response was immediate, Ajiboye finishing a typically incisive run with a low shot well saved by goalkeeper, and the leveller was not long in coming. Rob Milsom sent in a deep cross from the left and Ajiboye came in at the far post to get ahead of Daniels and volley home.
Colchester might have retaken the lead when Dean Bouzanis failed to gather a free kick from the left and in the ensuing scramble Samson Tovide had one shot blocked and a second deflected wide, but the 17-year-old striker's involvement would soon end as, at the other end of the pitch, George dropped Enzio Boldewijn's left wing corner and Isaac Olaofe stabbed the ball goalwards, only to be denied as Tovide diverted the effort on to the post with his hand. The distraught Tovide was sent off by referee Robert Madley, and Milsom (above), assuming penalty duties as well as the captain's armband, coolly rolled the ball in to the corner of the net.
Omar Bugiel almost widened the lead just before half time with a low shot from twenty yards that grazed the side netting, but in the second half there was an early scare as Sears was tripped on the edge of the penalty area by Goodliffe as he tried to collect a pass over the top from Cole Skuse. Colchester were hopeful of a penalty and a red card, but the incident was just outside the area, and with the ball closer to Bouzanis than Sears when the striker went over Goodliffe was booked. Sears' free kick deflected off the wall and then Luke Hannant to loop harmlessly over the bar.
Six minutes later the game swung further in U's favour after a decisive passage of play. A mistake by Ali Smith allowed Sears to go through, but he was denied by a brilliant covering tackle from Coby Rowe, and as U's cleared the ball Olaofe first won a tackle just inside the Colchester half and was then upended by Skuse as he tried to run at the home defence. Milsom's inswinging free kick was met by Goodliffe's head, and the ball found the net through the hands of George.
The last half hour wasn't always as comfortable as it might have been for U's, who squandered several good opeings with a wrong choice or misplaced pass, and with Noah Chilvers impressive for Colchester the home side came close to setting up a tense finish. Chilvers ended one fine run with a shot just wide, then Sears netted after Bouzanis had beaten out a fearsome free kick from Daniels, only to be ruled offside. If Colchester had a feeling that it wasn't to be their night, it would only have been enhanced when Tommy Smith's glancing header from a Daniels cross came back off the post, but the almost 300 Sutton supporters who had followed their team along the A12 were delighted to see U's move back in to the play-off positions with a third away league win in four games, with the return of Kenny Davis in the last five minutes for his first action since the away draw at Scunthorpe a further positive moment.
Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, R Milsom, C Rowe, B Goodliffe, A Smith, D Ajiboye, J Barden(sub K Davis 86), O Bugiel(sub T Sho-Silva 80), I Olaofe(sub D Wilson 66), E Boldewijn. Subs n/u B House, B Wyatt, W Randall. Booked: Goodliffe.
Colchester: S George, M Welch-Hayes, C Daniels, L Chambers, T Smith, G Kennedy(sub F Nouble 82), L Hannant(sub C Coxe 67), C Skuse, S Tovide, N Chilvers, F Sears. Subs n/u J Turner, S Jasper, T Eastman, A Dobra, C Cooper. Booked: Hannant, Smith, Chilvers. Sent Off: Tovide.
Referee: Robert Madley
Attendance: 3,013(273 away)