COLCHESTER United secured their first League Two win of the season this afternoon after seeing off Northampton Town 1-0 in a closely-contested affair.

Luke Norris's penalty midway through the second half proved the difference between the two sides at a sunny JobServe Community Stadium.

It was welcome relief for the U's and boss John McGreal, after starting the new league season without a win in their opening four matches.

Colchester head coach McGreal kept an unchanged starting line-up for his side’s home clash with Northampton.

There was a place on the bench for summer signing Paris Cowan-Hall, who recovered from his Achilles injury to be among the substitutes.

However, Tom Lapslie and Harry Pell missed out again through injury, while left-back Cohen Bramall served the final game of his three-match ban.

Courtney Senior started on the left for the U's and Jevani Brown on the right, with Frank Nouble down the middle behind Luke Norris.

After a quiet opening, Northampton came close to scoring in the tenth minute through Sam Hoskins, whose fierce 25-yard effort was parried away by keeper Dean Gerken following a swift Cobblers break.

However, the U’s warmed to the task and they had a penalty appeal turned down in the 16th minute when Hoskins appears to handle Norris' attempted pass in the area.

Colchester came close to going behind in the 27th minute when Ryan Clampin did brilliantly to nod Vadaine Oliver’s header off the line following Hoskins’ cross into the six-yard box.

But the U’s came close again when Norris headed over the bar after Ryan Jackson had curled in a cross, following a free-kick.

And they almost broke the deadlock again six minutes before the break when Brown's curled effort from the edge of the area was pushed away at full stretch by Cobblers keeper David Cornell.

Colchester almost went ahead early in the second half when Nouble’s close-range shot was blocked in the six-yard box before seconds later, Senior’s effort was blocked by Cornell’s legs for a corner.

Charlie Goode then almost converted Nouble’s cross into his own net at the near post as the U’s pressed for an opener.

Ben Stevenson’s curled effort blocked by a Northampton defender in the area, shortly after Gambin had replaced Brown following the U’s first change of the game.

Cornell had to dive full stretch to parry away Gambin’s fine low drive as Colchester continued to dominate.

And they finally made the breakthrough they were looking for in the 66th minute through Norris, who converted emphatically from the spot after Shaun McWilliams had been adjudged to have fouled Stevenson in the box.

Joe Bunney's left-foot drive fizzed inches wide for Northampton with 19 minutes to go while soon after, Gerken had to push Nicky Adams' low shot away after it sailed through a crowd of players.

Senior's low effort flashed just wide of the near post with seven minutes remaining and it proved to be the attacker's last action of the game, as he was replaced by Paris Cowan-Hall who came on for his U's debut in the closing stages.

Northampton pressed late on as the U's began to retreat but the hosts held out to record a morale-boosting victory in front of a crowd of 3,164 at the Community Stadium.