Chris Dagnall bagged a brace to further ease Crewe's relegation worries in a 2-0 win over play-off chasing Colchester.
Dagnall, back in the swing after serving a three-game ban, showed his clinical edge in a game of few chances with a superb flying header for the 26th-minute winner and he followed that up with a simpler finish six minutes from time.
A third win in four games leaves David Artell's side with a 13-point cushion above the Sky Bet League Two relegation zone, while the visitors fell four points behind seventh-placed Exeter.
After the match had survived two pitch inspections at Gresty Road, the game kicked off 15 minutes late and Crewe emerged out of the traps the quickest.
Callum Cooke's fierce drive was turned around a post by Sam Walker before Jordan Bowery volleyed over.
Dagnall opened the scoring in the 26th minute as he flung himself to connect with George Cooper's free-kick and headed past Walker.
Colchester went close to levelling when substitute Tarique Fosu volleyed inches past the far post before Crewe goalkeeper Ben Garratt did well to keep out Rekeil Pyke's close-range header with his legs.
Dagnall made it 2-0 with six minutes left when he turned in Cooke's cutback from the byline.
Garratt preserved his clean sheet - a third in four games - with two late saves from Brennan Dickenson and substitute Macauley Bonne.