The game was settled by Orient defender Terrell Forbes' own goal. He was put under pressure by Ian Henderson when Karl Duguid crossed low from the right and diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper Lee Butcher from four yards.
Ward said: "We needed a positive reaction following last week's home defeat against Chesterfield and that is exactly what we got.
"The lads were stung by that defeat, but full credit to them for the way they hit back. Their determination and endeavour was there for all to see and everyone can derive great satisfaction for what they achieved.
"We were positive throughout and did not revert to the back foot once we got our noses in front. That is something you cannot afford to do against a side like Orient. You have to go at them at every opportunity and this is what we did.
"We could have made things a little easier for ourselves had Gavin Massey taken advantage of his chance immediately after the break, but thankfully, in the end his miss didn't cost us."
Colchester last week