LUKE Norris returned to haunt his former club as Colchester United slumped to a 2-0 home defeat against struggling Stevenage this afternoon.

Norris headed the visitors' second goal just after half-time, after Jamie Reid had put Boro ahead in the sixth minute of first-half time added on.

Norris was sent off late on after picking up a second yellow card but it was a disappointing afternoon, for Wayne Brown's side.

Colchester made two changes to their starting line-up for their game with Stevenage.

Alan Judge and Tyreik Wright were both handed starting spots, in place of Junior Tchamadeu, who dropped to the bench and Luke Hannant, who was not in the 18 due to injury.

The first half was a scrappy affair, punctuated frequently by the shrill of referee Charles Breakspear’s whistle.

Colchester started it brightly and almost went ahead in the fifth minute through Noah Chilvers, who sent a half volley straight at Stevenage goalkeeper Christy Pym from the edge of the area.

Alan Judge’s first-time effort from 15 yards flew over soon after for the U’s, after Cameron Coxe had done brilliantly to run at the Stevenage defence and pick him out.

Colchester kept knocking on the door in the early stages with skipper Luke Chambers heading wide from Judge's corner at the far post.

But Stevenage began to ease themselves into the contest after that and Jake Taylor's low deflected strike sailed just wide of the far post, after a short corner.

Much of the play up until half-time took place in midfield after that but just when it looked as though the teams would go in level at the break, Colchester fell behind deep into first-half stoppage-time.

The visitors took the lead in the fifth minute of first-half time added on.

Jamie Reid followed up on the line to score after Taylor's curled deflected effort sailed past U’s goalkeeper Shamal George, who seconds earlier had made a fine save to deny Arthur Read.

It was a blow for Colchester going in behind at the break and things got even worse for them, three minutes into the second half.

Former U’s striker Luke Norris headed past George from close range, after Ben Coker had picked him out unmarked in the box.

Colchester tried to find a route back into the game after that.

Freddie Sears had an effort ruled out for offside, while substitute John Akinde was denied a penalty after tumbling under Terence Vancooten's challenge in the box.

Stevenage were reduced to ten men with six minutes remaining when Norris received a second caution for a foul on Brendan Wiredu.

Sears' effort clipped a post late on for Colchester but the visitors claimed victory.

MATCH STATS: COLCHESTER UNITED: George, Coxe, Chambers, Eastman, Kenlock, Skuse (sub Andrews, 79), Wiredu, Chilvers, Judge, Wright (sub Akinde, 49), Sears.

Subs (not used): Welch-Hayes, Smith, Tchamadeu, Huws, Hornby.

U’s man of the match: Brendan Wiredu.

Stevenage: Pym, Wildin, Coker, Cuthbert, Vancooten, Taylor (sub Lines, 64), Read (sub Carter, 85), Reid, Bostwick, List (sub Andrade, 70), Norris.

Subs (not used): Walker, Prosser, Lines, Upson, O’Neill.

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey).

Bookings: Colchester: Wiredu (foul, 30), Eastman (foul, 53), Kenlock (foul, 90). Stevenage: Norris (unsporting behaviour, 51; foul, 84), Reid (foul, 58), Coker (foul, 77), Carter (foul, 90).

Sending off: Norris (two bookable offences, 84).

Goals: Stevenage: Reid (45), Norris (48).

Attendance: 3,094 (296 Stevenage fans).