Port Vale 2-0 Colchester United
Two goals from Doug Loft saw Port Vale revive their fading play-off hopes at the expense of a Colchester side playing their first game for 24 days.
Loft scored his sixth goal of the season when he swept in a low left-foot shot after 13 minutes.
His second came against the run of play early in the second half, a right-foot effort from 16 yards.
Vale were forced to soak up heavy pressure late on, with U's substitute Freddie Sears going close three times.