Colchester United were beaten for the first time in 2014 after losing 2-0 to Port Vale tonight.

Doug Loft's brace, with goals in each half, gave the Valiants victory at a wintery Vale Park and saw the U's lose in their first competitive game for more than three weeks in League One.

Loft swept home a low shot in the 15th minute to put Vale, managed by former U's assistant manager Micky Adams, in the driving seat.

And the Vale skipper, who was named man-of-the-match, doubled both his own and his side's tally when he planted a fine shot past U's goalkeeper Sam Walker, early in the second half.

Colchester peppered the Vale goal in the closing stages with substitutes Freddie Sears and Jabo Ibehre going close.

But in the end, Colchester were unable to salvage anything from the game.

For a full match report and pictures from the U's game against Port Vale, see Wednesday's Gazette,