Colchester United have beaten Port Vale in the Potteries
Courtney Senior opened the scoring after five minutes, and Harry Pell doubled the lead eleven minutes later.
Pell then scored his second, and the U's third, halfway through the second period and the U's returned to fourth place in the table.
Tom Pope looked favourite to get a shot away, but Tom Eastman intervened with a great last ditch tackle.
Less than a minute later, Mikael Mandron hit the bar from a Frank Nouble cross, followed quickly by Sammie Szmodics’ shot flying wide.
The scoring was opened on five minutes, with Courtney scoring his third goal in three games against Vale.
He received the ball on the edge of the box, twisted and turned under pressure before hitting a right foot effort that was deflected past Scott Brown to make it 1-0.
Pope and Mandron both headed just off target from corners, before the U’s doubled the lead on sixteen minutes.
A left wing corner was touched onto the far post, where Pell was waiting to volley calmly low past Brown.
It was no more than the U’s deserved for their attacking intent during the early stages, and added to the three goals they scored in their previous game.
A quiet spell followed, but the hosts finished the half the stronger and went closest just before half time.
Ben Whitfield nipped in at the near post but his flick rebounded off the post to Luke Joyce, who was denied by a fantastic stop from Rene Gilmartin.
That momentum continued after the break, with Neil Aspin’s side looking for a way back into the game.
Kay should have scored with a header from Pope’s cross, but his powerful header went over the crossbar.
That came in the fifty first minute, and the home side continued to put the pressure on the U’s defence in the following minutes.
The belief that they could get back into the game was smashed halfway through the second period, when Pell scored his second, and the U’s third.
Frank Nouble created the opening before passing to Pell, who hit a shot from thirty yards that took a slight deflection on its way into the top corner.
As the U’s comfortably kept the hosts at bay following that goal, Brandon Comley, Luke Norris and Ryan Gondoh were introduced by John McGreal.
Pell went for an ambitious shot from even further out a he chased a hat-trick, and Mandron almost scored a fourth late on.
The icing on the cake was a clean sheet, and that was secured in injury time when Dickenson made a fantastic block when it looked like the hosts should have scored.
It was the first win of 2019, and results elsewhere saw the U’s return to fourth place and they trail third placed MK Dons by a solitary point.