Match ends, Rochdale 2, Colchester United 1.
Play-off hopefuls Rochdale deepened Colchester's relegation concerns in League One as they moved to within three points of the top six.
Dale, who are 13th, raced into a sixth-minute lead as Rhys Bennett headed the hosts ahead. Ian Henderson doubled the advantage after the break.
Chris Porter pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after Michael Rose fouled Colchester's Gavin Massey.
The defeat leaves Colchester two points adrift of safety.
Rochdale boss Keith Hill told BBC Radio Manchester:
"I think the lads have done terrifically well. There's peaks and troughs throughout any season, especially when you've been promoted.
"We insist on playing football and sometimes that can get misjudged.
"I'm energised with what I see everyday but sometimes I do get tired. I'm energised with the fact I've got a free week now."
- 27CannonSubstituted forDawsonat 70'minutes
- 3BennettBooked at 30mins
- 39BunneySubstituted forNoble-Lazarusat 78'minutesBooked at 84mins
- 2WynterSubstituted forSembie-Ferrisat 79'minutes
- 42PorterSubstituted forBonneat 79'minutes
- Oliver Langford
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Rochdale 2, Colchester United 1.
Attempt saved. Ian Henderson (Rochdale) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Tom Kennedy.
Stephen Dawson (Rochdale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Matthew Briggs (Colchester United).
Foul by Michael Rose (Rochdale).
Macauley Bonne (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Rochdale. Conceded by Elliott Hewitt.
Attempt saved. Reuben Noble-Lazarus (Rochdale) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Foul by Reuben Noble-Lazarus (Rochdale).
Matthew Briggs (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Rhys Bennett.
Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Jamie Jones.
Attempt saved. Macauley Bonne (Colchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Substitution, Colchester United. Macauley Bonne replaces Chris Porter.
Substitution, Colchester United. Dion Sembie-Ferris replaces Alex Wynter.
Substitution, Rochdale. Reuben Noble-Lazarus replaces Joe Bunney.
Attempt saved. David Fox (Colchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Corner, Rochdale. Conceded by Alex Wynter.