Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough said it would have been a "travesty" had his side not beaten Colchester following their 1-0 win.
Substitute Chris Porter's late penalty earned the Blades a sixth straight win and moved them up to 12th in the League One table.
Clough said: "I think it would have been a travesty had we not got the three points.
"It's not just the results that have pleased me, it's the performances too and we can take a great deal of heart from it.
"I don't think Mark Howard had a shot to save for us. We thought we missed a bit of an opportunity in the first half - we dominated the game that much.
"But we didn't really make the most of our situations again. We had a little bit of frustration at half-time with them, because we had dominated so much.
"We needed a little bit more belief but we kept plugging away.
"Their goalkeeper made a great save from Ben Davies with about 15 minutes to go and we got into some brilliant situations.
"It wasn't quite there for us but fortunately we got the penalty and came away with the win."