Scunthorpe manager Brian Laws saluted a "huge" win after they climbed out of the relegation zone at the expense of Colchester.
Goals from Jimmy Ryan and Karl Hawley, before Freddie Sears' consolation, secured a crucial 2-1 victory.
Laws said: "It's a huge win as it was a huge game for both teams.
"It was a game that neither could afford to lose.
"They've been on a really poor run of results - I'm not saying form because their performances have been really good - but we always knew that this was going to be a tough task for us.
"But while they were unsteady and nervous we had to play on that. At times we were very, very good and at others we were sloppy.
"In general play, I thought it was a hard-fought result and one that we deserved in the end.
"It was important that we unsettled them and the first goal of any game is vital.
"It goes without saying that confidence is always bred from results, but even more so now as the lads have seen themselves out of the bottom four for a long time."