RELEGATION continues to haunt Wrexham. This was their fifth defeat in the last six matches and they remain third from bottom with the points gap above them forever widening.
Manager Denis Smith was inconsolable after the 2-1 defeat at Layer Road where the referee had two pitch inspections before giving the game the go-ahead.
Smith came out of Wrexham's dressing room and said, "I'm fuming. How did we contrive to lose that? In the first 20 minutes we could have had four and how we didn't get a point is beyond my comprehension." Smith's anger was understandable. Wrexham had a host of good chances to have put this game in the bag by half-time.
But those chances came and went and Colchester stole a 12th-minute lead when veteran Micky Stockwell stole in to convert an inviting cross from Graham Barrett who is on loan until the end of the season from Arsenal.
Barrett's blistering pace set up the goal but up until then it had virtually been all Wrexham. Trinidadian striker Hector Sam had chances galore but failed to beat goalkeeper Andy Woodman.
Wrexham were without the cutting edge of suspended striker Lee Trundle and for a while it looked as though he was going to be sadly missed.
But then midfielder Stephen Thomas scored a spectacular equaliser on the half-hour. Michael Blackwood was involved in the move that set up Thomas but the finished product was all his own work.
Thomas, a Wales Under-21 international, unleashed a rasping right-footer that Woodman strained to get to but never had a chance of keeping out.
There were celebrations down on the touchline as Thomas wheeled away in delight but Wrexham then survived two errors by goalkeeper Kristian Rogers.
He missed connecting properly with an intended punch clearance as Wrexham came under more pressure and then Rogers spilled another cross from Karl Duguid just before the break.
But it was still all to play for in the second half and again Wrexham had the better chances. Rogers atoned for those first-half scares with a brilliant one-handed save from Barrett.
The U's clinched victory 12 minutes from time. Duguid's delivery was chested down by Scott McGleish and Bobby Bowry netted his first goal for Colchester and the winner. Colchester: Woodman, Duguid, White, Johnson, Clark, Bowry, Pinault (Coote, 52), Izzet, Stockwell (Fitzgerald, 86), McGleish, Barrett. Subs not used: Brown, Rapley, Morgan.
Wrexham: Rogers, Whitley, Roberts, Lawrence, Holmes, Thomas (Evans, 83), Ferguson, Phillips, Blackwood, Sam, Morrell. Subs not used: Carey, Chalk, Edwards, Walsh.