TEN-MAN Colchester United’s winless run was extended to seven matches after they suffered a miserable 3-0 defeat at Morecambe this afternoon.

Goals from Adam Phillips, Toumani Diagouraga and John O’Sullivan condemned the U’s to their first-ever defeat at the Mazuma Stadium.

And their misery was compounded after skipper Harry Pell was shown a straight red card after clashing with Shrimps defender Ryan Cooney, on the hour mark.

Colchester boss Steve Ball had named an unchanged side for their game at Morecambe.

Aramide Oteh, who signed on loan for the U’s from QPR on Wednesday, was on the bench.

It was a competitive first half, with neither side giving anything away in the opening stages.

Colchester came close in the seventh minute through Cohen Bramall, whose tame header was plucked out of the air easily by goalkeeper Jokull Andresson after Kwame Poku had floated the ball towards the far post.

But Morecambe also went close in the opening stages through Adam Phillips' 25-yard free-kick which was pushed away well at full stretch by U’s keeper Dean Gerken for a corner.

Noah Chilvers' decent attempt from 25 yards flew just wide of the post soon after and Colchester began to look the more dangerous of the two sides, as the half wore on.

They came a whisker away from taking a 27th-minute lead when Callum Harriott rattled the near post with a fierce left-foot effort, following Jevani Brown’s neat lay-off.

U’s top scorer Brown then went close himself with an effort that deflected wide from close range following Bramall’s cross to the near post.

And from the resultant corner, defender Tommy Smith’s header came back off a post as Colchester knocked on the door.

Andresson pushed away Poku’s low effort at his near post but the U’s were hit by a sucker punch in first-half stoppage-time.

After Carlos Mendes Gomes had threaded through a fine pass, Phillips coolly took the ball past Gerken and confident slotted into the net.

It was practically the last action of a frantic first half and meant the U’s rather harshly trailed at the break.

Colchester fell further behind in the 58th minute.

Substitute Diagouraga, who had come on at the break for Jordan Slew, tapped in from close range after O’Sullivan had been released by Phillips and crossed from the byline.

And things got even worse for Colchester, a couple of minutes later.

After a challenge on Phillips, skipper Pell squared up to Morecambe right-back Cooney who went down, prompting the referee to show the U’s midfielder the red card and leave them facing the final half hour with only ten men.

U’s boss Ball changed things around, sending on Oteh for his debut and also Miles Welch-Hayes for Harriott and Poku and switching to three at the back with wing-backs.

But it was game over effectively for Colchester with ten minutes remaining when O’Sullivan converted from four yards, following Phillips’ cross.

Gerken denied substitute Liam McAlinden late on but by then, the damage had been done.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken, Eastman, Smith, Sowunmi, Bramall, Chilvers, Pell, Stevenson, Poku (sub Welch-Hayes, 64), Brown (sub Folivi, 81), Harriott (sub Oteh, 61).

Subs (not used): Marshall Miranda, Sayer, Senior, George.

Morecambe: Andresson, Hendrie, Knight-Percival, Kavelle, Mendes Gomes, O’Sullivan (sub Price, 89), Phillips, Cooney, Songo’o, Slew (sub Diagouraga, 46), Stockton (sub McAlinden, 83).

Subs (not used): Da Silva Mendes, Pringle, Gibson.

Referee: Robert Lewis (Shrewsbury).

Goals: Morecambe: Phillips (45), Diagouraga (58), O’Sullivan (80).

Bookings: Morecambe: Hendrie (foul, 55).

Sending-off: Colchester: Pell (violent conduct, 60).