Colchester United kept the pressure on the teams above them with their third win in four games – and fourth in seven – with another hardy display on the road against Blackpool.
The 1-0 scoreline doesn’t reflect the U’s dominance in this one, as they had a host of chances to make this win a more convincing victory.
But they kept their third successive clean sheet with another display of defensive fortitude, and will be buoyed going into the final five games of the season.
The win ensured the battle for survival continues with the games ticking away, setting up a big double header next week against Peterborough United and Crewe Alexandra.
The U’s made two changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Millwall, with Joe Edwards and Owen Garvan replacing Richard Brindley and Tom Lapslie in the starting eleven.
The first chance of the game, as Garvan stepped out of midfield with the ball and, with no other options available to him, lifted his effort over the bar.
They went even closer two minutes later as Massey broke into the box on the right and his cross was only just beyond the diving header of Porter.
It was a decent start from the visitors, but the home side had their first sight of goal on sixteen minutes. White got away from his man and cut it back for Norris, but he sidefooted wide from a central position.
The U’s came back on the attack, though, with Edwards having a shot that was deflected wide, spinning away from Doyle but away from the far post.
Next, it was Lee who tested the home keeper, cutting inside White to drill in a low shot that the keeper held at the second time of asking.
The U’s went close again on 29 minutes, escaping on the counter. Lee drove into the box and his shot on the turn went through the legs of Aldred and inches wide of the post.
The goal wouldn’t quite come for the U’s, who went close again on 37 minutes. This time substitute Lapslie, who came on for Gilbey on the half hour mark, and Porter combined.
The U’s captain jinked past two before shooting just wide of goal as it remained scoreless.
Coming into the last five minutes of the half, Blackpool saw a bit more of the ball, but the U’s still managed to escape on the counter.
The ball was fed into the box for Porter, but he couldn’t get his left footed shot on target.
But the home side still had their chances – and arguably had two of the better chances of the first half.
They had one just before the break, bursting into life, with Philliskirk stabbing an effort wide of the near post.
After the restart, the U’s went even closer to that same upright, as Massey drilled in a low shot with a composed finish that cannoned back off with Doyle beaten.
The U’s were carrying on from where they left off and Porter cut inside his man before drilling in a shot that Doyle fended away.
They finally got their goal on the hour mark. Lee’s shot was blocked and it was then helped into the area, where Porter lashed home on the half volley.
The U’s captain was in confident mood and he was in a central position to get on the end of a Massey cross-cum-shot that he lifted over the bar on this occasion.
Chances were a rarity for the home side and Blyth had an effort on the turn on 67 minutes which Kent did well to block before Parish was on hand to collect the corner.
At the other end, Lee stepped past his man on the edge of the box, but curled an effort just past the far post.
The U’s chances kept coming and right back Edwards got into the box, but his left footed effort lacked conviction.
However, the U’s knew they would have to keep working to the end and Parish was quickly off his line on 77 minutes to smother when Redshaw had a glimpse of goal.
The U’s made their second change with nine minutes remaining, with Brindley coming on for the impressive Lee.
And, with the added defensive strength that he added, the U's saw the final stages away without too many problems to set up the remaining fixtures.