Manager Joe Dunne has hailed 10-man Colchester after they came from behind to win 2-1 at fellow strugglers Bury.
In the fourth minute George Porter was sent off for the U's, whose squad was hit by a virus this week, before Craig Fagan fired Bury into a 26th-minute lead.
Yet the visitors stunned the Shakers with two goals in two minutes from Josh Thompson and Clinton Morriston before surviving a second-half onslaught for their first win in four.
"It was a remarkable win in every sense of the word," said Dunne. "We had five players playing that were 50 per cent fit and had to leave five or six at home.
"They gave it their all and we rode our luck. But for all their chances, we'll take the win because I thought our courage and determination deserved something from the game.
"On another day, we would probably have lost. But we felt we could score against them and once we got the two goals, we would have taken a point. Our keeper and our back four were superb."
On the sending-off, Dunne added: "Apparently it's a red card and it's clean-cut. It was a bit of a silly thing to do but the players were galvanised and it brought us the win. They started the game really well but I thought our response was superb."
Some Bury fans called for manager Kevin Blackwell to be sacked after a third straight defeat that leaves them rooted to the bottom of npower League One.
But he said of his side: "I'm full of praise for the players, they were terrific. It just didn't fall for us. There seemed to be a force field around their goal. We've had 51 crosses, 16 shots on target and 15 off.
"When you're at the bottom, you've missed chances and the fans are frustrated it's easier to hang the manager out to dry. But I don't know what else I could have done other than gone on and scored myself."