Crawley Town lost their Boxing Day battle with Colchester United 2-0 at the Checkatrade Stadium.
A goal in each half for the visitors provided a disappointing result for the home fans following their heroic win at Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
The Essex side took the lead after just four minutes through Mikael Mandron, then adding a second on 58 minutes by Sammie Szmodics.
Head coach Harry Kewell made six changes to the side which beat Accrington Stanley 3-2 with Jordan Roberts returning from suspension, Kaby Djalo’s season’s debut in the league plus returns for Thomas Verheydt, Billy Clifford, and Moussa Sanoh.
Goalkeeper Yusuf Mersin masde his first league appearance of the season, a late replacement for Glenn Morris, who injured his back in the warm-up.
Josh Payne, Dannie Bulman, Mark Randall and Ibrahim Meite were all on the bench while Enzio Boldewijn was not in the squad.
Colchester got off to an early lead with a goal in the fourth minute scored by Mikael Mandron who passed towards Drey Wright in a break-way attack, then robbed Cedric Evina of the ball after it fell to him and netted past Mersin.
Crawley began to press forward in search for an equaliser and Evina’s cross looked dangerous but was kept out be outstretched hand of keeper Sam Walker.
Reds had a chance to score when Lewis Young lofted a pass to Roberts who controlled the ball but scuffed his shot.
Reds returned to the field for the second half with two changes as Ibrahim Meite and Mark Randall replaced Verheydt and Sanoh.
But it was Colchester who pressed for goal and inclreaded their lead when Szmodics broke away, ran to the lefvt and chipped the ball over Mersin into the back of the net.
Reds missed a great opportunity to pull a goal back when Young crossed to an unmarked Meite but he headed straight at keeper Walker.
Crawley Town: Morris, Young, Connolly (capt), Roberts, Yorwerth, Djalo (Payne 62), Clifford, Evina, Lelan, Verheydt (Meite 46), Sanoh (Randall 46)
Unused subs: Mersin, Doherty, Bulman, Lewis
Colchester United: Walker, Jackson, Lapslie (capt), Kent, Wright, Szmodics, Comley, Reid (Murray 80), Eastman, Mandron (Guthrie 84), Vincent-Young
Unused subs: Kpekawa, Hanlon, Slater, Odelusi, Gilmartin
Referee: Antony Coggins
Attendance: 2,154 (375 away)
Man of the Match: Jordan Roberts