COLCHESTER United’s disappointing home form this season continued this afternoon after they were beaten 1-0 at home by Crawley Town.

Jack Payne’s first-half strike proved the difference between the two sides at the JobServe Community Stadium, as the U’s wait for a first home win of the season continued.

Colchester, who were led by assistant manager Alex Dyer and academy boss Dave Huzzey with boss Hayden Mullins missing, made two changes to their starting line-up for their game against Crawley.

Sylvester Jasper and Tom Eastman were both recalled to the U’s starting line-up, with Luke Chambers missing out through suspension and Luke Hannant dropping to the bench.

Ryan Clampin returned from injury to take his place among the substitutes but Miles Welch-Hayes missed out again through injury.

Colchester made a bright start to the game and went on the attack from the off.

Freddie Sears lifted a shot well over the bar from a decent position after Eastman had helped on Charlie Daniels' mis-hit shot while in the fourth minute, Alan Judge forced Glenn Morris into a decent save at his near post after Brendan Wiredu’s superb piece of skill had set up the chance.

Wiredu hooked a shot wide from the edge of the six-yard box after Daniels' corner had been helped on by skipper Tommy Smith, soon after.

But Colchester had nothing to show for their early enterprise.

And they fell behind rather against the run of play in the 22nd minute.

Will Ferry got the better of Daniels and squared the ball to Jack Payne, who fired a clean first-time shot past goalkeeper Shamal George and into the net from the edge of the area.

Colchester rather lost their way after that for the remainder of the half and Crawley threatened to score a second.

Nick Tsaroulla’s long-range effort flew just over the bar for the visitors while seconds later, Ferry got in behind the U's defence and curled a shot towards goal which George plucked out of the air, as the hosts went in behind at the break.

It was an even contest after half-time and it took Colchester 15 minutes to register their first shot on target after the break, with Frank Nouble’s fierce shot saved by Morris at his near post after Eastman’s pass had opened up the Crawley defence.

But seconds later, it was the U’s goal under threat with George making a great save to deny substitute Ashley Nadesan from point blank range, following Jack Powell’s incisive pass.

Jasper’s strike from the edge of the area was straight at Morris as Colchester hunted for an equaliser.

But the impressive Ferry went close with a low shot that whistled just past the far post as the clock ticked down.

George denied substitute Kwesi Appiah in stoppage-time and Colchester were unable to muster an equaliser, as they fell to defeat.

MATCH STATS: COLCHESTER UNITED: George, Coxe (sub Hannant, 89), Eastman, Smith, Daniels, Skuse, Wiredu (sub Dobra, 66), Jasper (sub Chilvers, 82), Judge, Sears, Nouble.

Substitutes (not used): Clampin, Tchamadeu, Tovide, Turner.

U’s man of the match: Shamal George.

Crawley Town: Morris, Francomb, Dallison, Powell, Ferry, Ashford (sub Nadesan, 46), Hessenthaler, Tsaroulla, Payne, Lynch, Nichols (sub Appiah, 84).

Subs (not used): Jones, Davies, Gallagher, Bansal-McNulty.

Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire).

Bookings: Colchester: Wiredu (unsporting behaviour, 45). Crawley: Ashford (unsporting behaviour, 26), Ferry (unsporting behaviour, 45), Nicholls (unsporting behaviour, 84).

Goals: Crawley: Payne (22).

Attendance: 2,640 (173 Crawley fans).