Two first-half Colchester goals prove too much for Neil Aspin’s side, as the Vale fall to defeat at the JobServe Community Stadium.
A tidy finish from Colchester winger, Courtney Senior, put the U’s ahead on eight minutes before just 15 minutes later, Ryan Jackson made it 2-0 after bursting into the box and calmly finishing.
Despite a few clear-cut chances, the Vale couldn’t muster a response and were beaten on the day.
Naming an unchanged side from the team that beat Cambridge on opening day, Aspin would’ve hoped his Vale side can pick up where they left off last Saturday.
Though it was Colchester who started the brighter, as Frank Nouble pounced on a defensive error in the third minute to put himself one-on-one with Scott Brown, however a strong block from Connell Rawlinson cleared the danger.
The U’s early pressure paid off in the eighth minute, as a neat one-two with Brennan Dickenson, put Colchester number seven, Courtney Senior through on goal, and the winger made no mistake dispatching into the bottom-right hand corner.
Tom Pope with his first chance of the game almost brought Vale level with 19 minutes played, as he met a wicked Worrall cross to force an impressive save from the U’s number one, Dillon Barnes.
Aspin’s side were punished once again on 23 minutes, as some neat inter-play from the U’s forwards saw Colchester number 2 Ryan Jackson bear down on goal and the full-back slotted home from 12 yards. Vale 2-0 down with 25 minutes played.
Ricky Miller with his first impression on the game, cleverly made space for himself on the edge of the box, before being brought down 20 yards out, however the new-boy couldn’t replicate his opening day heroics, as his free-kick was comfortably saved.
Vale continued to threaten as the half pressed on - a long ball from keeper Scott Brown, led to centre back Nathan Smith attempting a rare acrobatic effort from six-yards out, though his attempt fell just wide.
The first booking of the day was brandished to Vale centre-back Rawlinson on 39 minutes, as he brought down the pacey Colchester number seven on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick flew just over Brown’s goal, proving no threat.
Life became that much harder for the Vale with just five minutes until the half-time whistle, as the Valiants skipper Tom Pope was pulled with an injury. Pope was replaced by number 19, Louis Dodds.
For all of the Valiants pressure, Aspin’s side headed in at half time unrewarded.
Aspin’s side came flying out of the blocks following the restart, as the Vale fans found their voice. A smart cut-back from Miller, set up Luke Hannant, who’s curling effort just fell the wrong side of the post.
Huge let off for Vale on the 51stminute. A smart run from Sammie Szmodics left Vale the wrong side of a two on one situation. The forwards cut back found Nouble in acres of space inside the Vale box, but the former West Ham man smashed over from 10 yards.
The second-half continued in a cagey affair, as both sides struggled to take complete control of the game – Vale needed an answer and fast.
John McGreal was left frustrated as his U’s side passed up a number of opportunities to put the game beyond Aspin’s side.
The Colchester boss was right to feel wary, as Leon Legge almost gave Vale a life-line on 76 minutes. The substitute fired from close range across the goal, however the Colchester keeper was equal to the powerful shot and comfortably collected.
Once more Colchester fail to convert, as substitute Mikael Mandron gets inches away from a simple two-yard tap-in, following a whipped cross from Szmodics.
As the final whistle blew, the Vale fans will be left disappointed given last week’s impressive victory over Cambridge.
Colchester United: Barnes, Jackson, Lapslie, Kent, Prosser, Senior (Comley, 83), Pell, Szmodics, Dickenson, Vincent-Young (Collins, 75), Nouble (Mandron, 68).
Unused Subs: Ross, Norris, Wright, Eastman.
Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons (Legge, 64), Montano, Joyce, Worrall, Oyeleke, Pope (Dodds, 40), Miller, Hannant (Quigley, 70), Rawlinson, Smith.
Unused subs: Hornby, Kanu, Tonge, Vassell