Padraig Amond’s injury-time goal kept Newport at the summit of League Two, while Barrow won their first Football League game since 1972.
The Exiles looked like conceding top spot to Cambridge when Jevani Brown equalised for Colchester in the 89th minute to cancel out Scott Twine’s opener.
But Almond struck moments later to make it four wins in a row for Michael Flynn’s men, keeping the gap above Cambridge at two points.
The U’s continued their excellent run of form with a 2-0 win at Walsall, where Paul Mullin was unsurprisingly on the scoresheet.
Mullin bagged his eighth goal in five games, converting an early penalty, with Joe Ironside adding a second spot-kick late on.
But Barrow earned the most prestigious victory of the night, finally winning their first game since their return to the Football League as they beat Mansfield – who sacked manager Graham Coughlan after the final whistle – 4-2.
The Bluebirds, back in the fourth tier of the English pyramid for the first time in 48 years, had drawn five of their opening eight games but got over the line at Field Mill thanks to goals from Bradley Barry, Patrick Brough and Josh Kay (2).
James Perch scored for Mansfield but Aaron O’Driscoll’s red card in the second half made it hard for the hosts, with Harry Charsley adding a late consolation.
Crawley enjoyed a standout win over Tranmere thanks to a first-half blitz set up a 4-0 victory.
Max Watters, Tom Nichols and Jordan Tunnicliffe all scored in the opening 24 minutes, with Tyler Frost adding a fourth after the break.
Bolton won just their second game of the season, beating Bradford 1-0.
Nathan Delfouneso’s early goal was enough for the Trotters, who saw goalkeeper Billy Crellin save Billy Clarke’s second-half penalty.
Jake Young’s first-half strike kept Forest Green in the top three as they beat Grimsby 1-0, while Port Vale came from behind to beat Cheltenham 2-1, with Andy Williams’ goal for the Robins being overturned by Leon Legge and David Worrall efforts.
Oldham snatched a last-gasp win over Southend, Carlisle beat Morecambe 3-1, Leyton Orient and Exeter drew 1-1, while it was goalless between Harrogate and Stevenage – the visitors failing to score for a fifth successive game.
Scunthorpe‘s game with Salford was postponed after a spate of coronavirus cases at the Glanford Park club.