John McGreal a proud man as Colchester take maximum points from Port Vale

John McGreal was proud of his Colchester side's display as the League Two promotion-chasers earned a 3-0 win at lowly Port Vale.

John McGreal was proud of his Colchester side’s display as the League Two promotion-chasers earned a 3-0 win at lowly Port Vale.

Colchester were two to the good within the opening 18 minutes through strikes from Courtney Senior and Harry Pell.

Pell scored his second goal of the game with just over 20 minutes to play.

The win at a rain-sodden Vale Park sees the Essex side on the cusp of the automatic promotion places with them currently sitting in fourth.

Manager McGreal says they got their reward following the packed festive period.

McGreal said: ‘We’ve had an indifferent 45 minutes over the festive period.

‘I think the performances have been there we just haven’t been able to score but I have to credit the players like I always do.

‘Training has been a breeze, the performances have been there even if the results weren’t and the boys are getting their rewards for their hard work.

‘We have come here and knew it was going to be tough – it was a tough game, so I’m delighted with the three points.

‘We had to dig deep, there was a 15-minute window before half-time where they got their tails up and it’s what we deserved.’

The U’s led when with five minutes gone when Senior’s right-footed drive from range took a heavy deflection to creep beyond Scott Brown and into the bottom-right corner.

McGreal’s men soon doubled their advantage with Pell – unmarked at the back post – steering the ball right-footed across goal which found the bottom-left corner after a set-piece.

Vale had their chances to force themselves back into the match with Tom Pope, Ben Whitfield and Antony Kay also seeing openings go begging.

And the hosts were made to pay as Pell completed the rout after 69 minutes as he thumped the ball right-footed into the top corner from outside the penalty area.

Port Vale boss Neil Aspin feels that his struggling side are embroiled in a relegation scrap, with the Valiants now just five points above the relegation zone.

Aspin said: ‘We have been dragged into a relegation battle and it’s something that nobody wanted, we aren’t too good to go down.

‘We’re always disappointed to lose a game at home, but we have had no luck whatsoever today, but you can’t dress up the performance – we handed the game to Colchester after a really poor spell.

‘We’re in a relegation fight and we need to pick up results and start winning.’