Colchester ended minnows AFC Sudbury’s FA Cup run with a 4-0 victory in the first round.
Sudbury, who ply their trade in the eighth tier of English football, had won five games to reach the tournament proper for the first time in 21 years.
But the visiting League Two side ultimately proved their class and and proved to be a step too far for the Yellows.
The Isthmian League North Division side started brightly and had the first real chance as U’s goalkeeper Shamal George pulled off a full-stretch save to keep out Marley Andrews.
Sunbury’s teenage keeper Joshua Blunkell denied Freddie Sears before thwarting Brendan Wiredu moments later.
The hosts’ resilience was broken 10 minutes before the break as Wiredu volleyed home the opener at the back post.
And it was 2-0 four minutes later when Wiredu turned provider for Sears to power home his third goal in as many games.
Sylvester Jasper put the game to bed with 19 minutes to go as he capped a fine performance with a super strike from outside the left-hand side of the box.
And debutant Shawn McCoulsky came off the bench to sweep home Luke Hannant’s cross in stoppage time.
Sudbury joint-manager Angelo Harrop urged his players to be proud of what they had achieved.
“We need to be proud now and we need to kick on, in the league,” he said.
“On around 89 minutes, I said to (fellow joint manager) Rick (Andrews), ‘have a look around and look what we’ve created’.
“If you’d seen what we came into and what we’ve achieved now, it’s incredible.
“For this football club now, financially they will be secure especially after Covid and all of the problems with that.”
The U’s were understandably heavy favourites but boss Hayden Mullins hailed the professionalism of his charges as they avoided “a potential banana skin”.
He said: “The job from start to finish I thought was a good professional one.
“I asked the boys to respect the opposition, to give us a professional performance and it was a potential banana skin.
“The atmosphere was fantastic and if you let the home team get a head of steam, I think it could be a difficult evening.
“I thought the boys did really well and carved out quite a lot of chances and on another day, if you’re not focused, you can let it slip and they can get in the back door.”