Bury recorded a second victory in 16 games as they thrashed Colchester.
The Shakers, who are seven points clear of the relegation zone, went ahead when Mike Grella reacted first after Efe Sodje's original header was saved.
Shaun Harrad scored after the visitors failed to clear a Steven Schumacher corner and Giles Coke got a third when he finished from Grella's pass.
Tom Eastman headed one back for the U's before Peter Sweeney picked out David Worrall, who fired low into the corner.
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Bury manager Richie Barker told BBC Radio Manchester:
"I thought we were excellent for 88 minutes of the match.
"We dominated the game and their goalkeeper probably made it more respectable.
"There's been a lot of doom and gloom about. We knew we were going to have a difficult time and hopefully we've come through that.
"We've given ourselves some breathing space and one win from our final four games will probably, just about, see us over the line."
Colchester United manager John Ward told BBC Essex:
"I'm really disappointed in everything I've seen this afternoon, I thought we'd got that one out of our system, those sort of defeats.
"We've slipped back into that lethargic kind of performance. We would contest a couple of the decisions in terms of the referee, but no way would I blame him.
"We've wobbled today, then it's affected our decision-making, in terms of passing.
"We've really not been strong enough in all areas of the pitch and Bury have thoroughly deserved their win."