BURTON Albion took an important step towards promotion with a 3-0 victory at Colchester.It was a cagey start to the game with neither team threatening. Albion won a couple of corners but failed to produce a real chance in the opening quarter of an hour.
Mark Duffy forced the first save of the game with Parish diving low to save his free kick.
On 15 mins Joe Edwards was sent off for a foul on Damien McCrory
On 19 mins Hamza Choudhury tried an audacious chip that nearly caught out the home keeper.
On 21 mins McCrory's goal-bound shot was brilliantly turned over by Parish and from the resulting corner the Albion defender fired narrowly over.
Bonne came close for Colchester firing wide after bursting clear on 27 minutes.
Wynter produced a sharp save from Mclaughlin with a low shot on 30 mins.
Duffy came even closer for Albion two minutes later with a low shot that hit the foot of the post.
Albion came close again on 35 mins after Akins raced into the box and centred for Beavon, whose shot was blocked at close range.
On 45 mins Albion took a short corner with Duffy's centre turned in by Akins to give the Brewers a deserved a lead.
Albion made it 2-0 on 49 mins.
Duffy chipped the ball forward for Tom Naylor to head forward and Akins to lash home his second of the game and 10th of the season.
On 60 mins Akins completed his hat-trick cutting in from the right and smashing the ball into the Colchester net to make it 3-0.
Hamza Choudhury came close to making it four, shooting narrowly wide after 67 mins.
Duffy's close range shot was beaten out for a corner on 71 minutes by Parish.
Albion were reduced to 10 men after 85 mins when Mason Bennett was carried off with the Brewers having made all three substitutions.
BREWERS: McLaughlin, Edwards, Cansdell-Sherriff, Mousinho, Beavon, Akins, McCrory, Naylor, Duffy, Palmer, Choudhury. Subs: Bywater, Reilly, Weir, Butcher (for McCrory 70 mins), Walker (for Beavon 75 mins), O'Connor, Bennett (for Palmer 79 mins)
COLCHESTER: Parish, Garvan, Edwards, Porter, Massey, Kent, Eastman, Bonne, Lapslie, Shorey, Dunne Subs: Barnes, Wynter (for Massey 24 mins), Wright (for Porter 81 mins), Gilbey, Moncur (for Dunne 45 mins), Lee, Brindley
ATTENDANCE: 4,292 (429 away)