Colchester United have been beaten 3-0 at Port Vale
At a wet and windy Vale Park, the home side took their chances to move into the play-off places as Colchester United drop to seventh after results elsewhere.
Tom Conlon netted for the home side after fourteen minutes when he blasted the ball into the top corner from inside the area.
Mark Cullen found the net ten minutes into the second half when he slotted past Gerken after finding himself one-on-one with the U’s keeper.
Cullen got his and Vale’s second of the game with twenty minutes remaining as he curled an effort beyond Gerken and into the far corner.
Colchester United named one change in the starting eleven from the side that was beaten at home by Grimsby in the week, with Callum Harriott dropping to the bench, and Courtney Senior coming in to replace him.
The home side looked dangerous from the off crossing the ball into dangerous areas at every opportunity.
Tom Conlon went close from a corner as he blasted a shot into the side netting with some home fans thinking he had put his side one up.
Just two minutes later, they did have something to cheer about when Conlon found the back of the net.
The Valiants were pressing high on the U’s back line, and pinched the ball. Rhys Browne picked out Conlon in the centre of the area and he sent Gerken the wrong way to give his side the lead.
Port Vale could have been two up ten minutes later when Montano picked the ball up on the corner of the area. He looked to curl an effort into the top corner but luckily for the U’s it fizzed over the bar.
The U’s had their best chance of the game with thirty minutes on the clock.
Harry Pell found himself unmarked on the six-yard line, but could only get a weak shot off. Leon Legge was on the line and able to clear.
Theo Robinson also went close for the U’s just moments later.
His acrobatic effort was blocked as it flew towards the corner of the net. The U’s were really banging on the Port Vale door, but unable to break through.
The travelling side struggled to create any more real chances in the first half, and were left trailing at the break through Conlon’s goal.
Port Vale doubled their lead ten minutes into the second half as striker Mark Cullen latched onto a David Worrall pass.
Worrall’s pass was caught in the wind, with Eastman unable to clear the danger. Cullen controlled before coolly slotting past Gerken and doubling the lead for his side.
Rhys Browne could have made it three when he was one-on-one with the U’s ‘keeper but lifted the ball way over the bar.
It got worse for the away side with eighteen minutes left to play when Mark Cullen got his second of the game. He cut in from the right hand side and curled an effort into the corner of the net giving Gerken no chance to save.
The U’s had a couple of chances before full time was blown, with Norris latching on to cross from Bramall but he was unable to direct into the net.
Norris went close again with a shot from a Poku cross but was again unable to find the goal.
The disappointing loss for the U’s means they drop down to seventh but do not fall out of the play-off places, ahead of Northampton Town on goal difference.
Up next for Colchester United is a trip to Salford next weekend where the U’s will be looking to make amends for the past couple of results.