Colchester head coach John McGreal was delighted to see his side book a second-round tie at Premier League side Crystal Palace following a 3-0 win over Swindon in the Carabao Cup.
The U’s secured their first win in the League Cup since 2010, thanks to late goals from Tom Eastman, Courtney Senior and Brandon Comley.
Both sides were reduced to 10 men on the hour mark, after Colchester left-back Cohen Bramall and Swindon striker Jerry Yates were dismissed following an altercation.
McGreal said: “The club hasn’t won in this competition for nine years, so it’s great to do that.
“The boys are buzzing and the chairman will be happy – that’s the good thing about it as well.
“It was a tough game – Swindon have started really well and have had some great wins.
“We knew once the draw came out that it would be a really tough game.
“We dug it out after the first 25 minutes or so and then I felt we grew into the game.
“In the last 15-20 minutes of the first half, we did well and then we built on it.”
Eastman gave Colchester the lead with 20 minutes remaining when he converted from Jevani Brown’s corner.
And Courtney Senior doubled their advantage in the second minute of stoppage-time when he slammed home Frank Nouble’s low cross from two yards.
Brandon Comley wrapped up Colchester’s win in the sixth minute of added time when he netted from close range, after Senior’s shot was saved by Luke McCormick.
Swindon boss Richie Wellens said: “We dominated the first half but didn’t put our chances away.
“Their keeper’s been named man of the match.
“I was really disappointed with (Jerry) Yates’ sending off.
“Again – it’s referees. The first goal isn’t a corner – it’s a goal-kick and they score from it.
“I should have maybe rested a few more, perhaps Jerry Yates because at the moment we haven’t got a replacement for him.
“We made four changes – we’ve conceded three goals but I think they’ve had three shots and I can’t remember Luke (McCormick) making a save.
“It was a really disappointing night and the biggest disappointment was Yatesy’s sending off.”