Bournemouth stretched their unbeaten run to 13 games under Eddie Howe as Lewis Grabban's sixth goal in six games sealed victory against Colchester.
The win was soured by a nasty injury to midfielder Shaun MacDonald, who was carried off shortly before half-time with an ankle problem.
Wes Fogden, Steve Cook and Brett Pitman all went close before Grabban's opener.
Colchester failed to clear from a corner and Shaun O'Kane slipped Grabban in for his ninth goal this season.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told BBC Radio Solent:
"Protecting a 1-0 lead against a team we haven't done very well against in recent years is certainly a very good result.
"We've been very surprised and really pleased with how quickly the lads have adapted to ideas.
(On the injured Shaun MacDonald) "He's an unsung hero, he makes us tick and he's a vital cog in our team and I think we did miss him.
"Initially we thought he may have broken his ankle but now we are hopeful it's just badly sprained but either way we are looking at a minimum of a couple of months."
Colchester United manager Joe Dunne told BBC Essex:
"I thought our game plan was spot on - it was a horrible match first-half, I wanted it to be."
"We've been too open. We've been attacking teams, we've been getting crucified, goals have been going in all over the place, I wanted to be harder to beat."
"The idea was to stay in the game, we were on the front foot in the second half, and I thought we deserved a draw."
"I've got to pay credit to the players. In the last few weeks I've been very disappointed in them and I think their response has been excellent. Today is the first step back to recovery."