Manager Ross Embleton spoke of his relief at seeing Leyton Orient secure their first win in eight league matches.
Three goals in the space of 16 minutes leading up to half-time set Orient on their way to a 3-2 victory at Cambridge.
Having been three clear at the break, Embleton’s side faced a nervous finish following goals for the hosts from Jack Roles and Sam Smith but they held on to earn the points.
Reggie Lambe (Cambridge) and Myles Judd (Orient) were sent off in quick succession after the final goal as both sides ended with 10 men.
Embleton said: “It’s really strange because I’ve just walked in there and it’s almost like a subdued feel to the fact that we’d won a game of football.
“Obviously the reason for that is because of the way the second half panned out. We have to remember it’s been a while since we had that feeling.
“I felt our first-half performance certainly deserved the three points. The main thing first and foremost is we’ve got over the line and got those three points we’ve been waiting for a very long time.
“I thought we were very disciplined in the first half, the way we set up without the ball and the way we stopped Cambridge from playing and how we felt they could they could impact the game.
“What that gave us was a platform to go and counter attack. We knew if we could find the areas of the pitch where we could work the ball we’d be able to hurt the opposition and we did that.”
Cambridge boss Colin Calderwood felt his side handed Orient the chances that they took to score their goals.
He said: “We didn’t play at any level. You could sense a little bit of danger when they played the ball forward, they were able to gain territory on the pitch.
“But did you feel any danger? I didn’t.
“So it becomes our fault entirely about a wide free-kick and a penalty kick, which is a really daft one to give away. Three set-pieces have given them the start in the game.
“They obviously were lifted by that and they were better than us so they deserved to be ahead in the game. We weren’t fluent at all.
“It’s a great example of we’re going quite nicely, we seem as if we’re improving, we think we’ve got a chance to win a game, and you get a bloody nose every so often.
“It’s obviously not a good reminder but you get these sorts of reminders in football. As soon as you think you might be getting better something like this invariable can happen.”