John Salako's goal gave Brentford their fourth win in a row. The winger's injury-time first half goal was enough to separate the two sides. The Bees stay in fifth place, with the busy Christmas schedule to come.
Martin Allen gave a debut to Steve Claridge, who partnered Deon Burton up front. In a scrappy game, the visitors' plan to frustrate Brentford almost paid off but John Salako broke the deadlock second before the half-time whistle with a drilled in left-foot shot from eighteen yards.
The visitors came all-out after the break, Craig Fagan hitting the post in the 50th minute. Steve Claridge was replaced by Isaiah Rankin just past the hour-mark, and claims for a penalty for a foul on the striker soon after were waived away by referee Robinson. Colchester had chances to equalise but were thwarted by a resiliant Brentford defence including Andrew Frampton, who took a heavy knock late on in the game but battled on to the end.
Line-up: Nelson, O'Connor, Sodje, Turner, Frampton, Salako (sub Lawrence 84 mins), Talbot (capt), Hargreaves, Rhodes, Burton, Claridge (sub Rankin 66 mins).
Subs unused: Julian, Myers and May.