Colchester United suffered their first home league defeat since September this afternoon when they lost 2-1 at home to Stevenage, in front of the biggest crowd of the season at the JobServe Community Stadium.

A fifth-minute own goal by keeper Rene Gilmartin and Danny Newton's header later in the first half gave the visitors their first away win since October.

Colchester head coach John McGreal named an unchanged side for his side’s game against Stevenage.

He stuck with the same side that beat MK Dons 1-0 last Saturday but there was an alteration among the substitutes, with Kane Vincent-Young on the bench in place of Diaz Wright.

The game was delayed for 15 minutes after the Stevenage coach broke down on the way to the ground.

But that did not seem to affect the visitors, who needed less than five minutes to take the lead.

Ben Nugent’s header stuck a post and then went in off Colchester keeper Rene Gilmartin, following Joel Byrom’s free-kick into a crowded area.

Colchester responded well to the setback and began to pepper the Stevenage goal.

Harry Pell's far-post header from Brennan Dickenson's corner was well pushed away low down by Stevenage goalkeeper Paul Farman.

And moments later, Ryan Jackson’s long-range cross-shot flashed inches wide of the far post.

Luke Norris’s downward header at the far post from Frank Nouble’s deep cross dropped just wide, while skipper Luke Prosser’s acrobatic effort straight into the arms of Farman, as Colchester pressed.

But Stevenage doubled their lead ten minutes before half-time through Danny Newton, who tapped in from two yards after former Colchester striker Kurtis Guthrie had headed Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s deep cross back across the six-yard box.

Colchester were incensed that the goal was allowed to stand after what appeared to be a push by Guthrie on Kent but the hosts found themselves 2-0 down.

McGreal’s side pressed constantly between then and half-time, which came at the wrong time for the hosts given their pressure.

Only a brilliant save by Farman denied Nouble at his near post at point blank range and the Stevenage keeper also pushed away Sammie Szmodics’ bullet shot from the edge of the area pushed away well by Farman, while Stevenage defender Scott Cuthbert almost sliced Dickenson’s cross into his own net from close range.

Colchester made a change at the break, sending on Vincent-Young for Kent, who had been booked in the first half, and switched to four at the back in an attempt to get back into the contest.

The U's cam close again midway the second half when Nouble's header from a Norris free-kick flew agonisingly over, before the hosts sent on Courtney Senior for Tom Lapslie.

Szmodics fired a shot into the side netting for the U's and substitute Mikael Mandron saw a header come back off the post, as the clock ticked down.

Colchester pulled a goal back with seven minutes remaining through skipper Prosser, who converted from close range after Tom Eastman had headed Dickenson's corner towards goal.

The U's put the pressure on after that but were unable to muster an equaliser, as they suffered their first home league loss since September.