PAWEL ABBOTT wasn't even born the last time Town scored seven goals without reply in successive games.
That was 22 years ago when Oxford and Orient were put to the sword 2-0 and 6-0 respectively by Mick Buxton's promotion-winning heroes.
It is certainly way too early to talk about possible promotion this season, but Peter Jackson and his players have now announced their arrival as Coca-Cola League I challengers in emphatic fashion.
A total of 1,007 Town fans witnessed another highly polished performance at Vale Park which was capped by a brilliant hat trick from Abbott - the first by a Town player since Andy Booth notched three at Northampton in October 2001.
Coldly clinical in his finishing, Abbott struck on 62, 67 and 75 minutes to smash Vale's 100% home record and reward build-up play of the purest quality.
For those 13 minutes in particular, Town were fluently dominant and hardly gave shell-shocked Vale a kick.
Just like the opening half hour in the 4-0 win against Hull, the passing, movement and ingenuity in Town's play was a joy to watch and sent a powerful message to the rest of the division.
Many fans thought Town's brand of play might be more suited to this level rather than the last and, in 180 minutes since the bad day at Belle Vue, Town have done everything possible to prove the theory.
While Abbott deserves the headlines for a top-notch display, it was a team effort which sank Martin Foyle's men and lifted Town back into the play-off placings.
Highly-rated Steve Brooker and partner Billy Paynter were rarely given a sniff of goal as Vale drew a blank in front of their home fans for the first time in 33 League games (it would have been a new club record).
That was a credit not only to the solid back three of David Mirfin, Steve Yates and Efe Sodje, but also to the hard work and link-up play of the midfield and attack.
Wing-backs Andy Holdsworth and Rob Edwards were dangerous raiders throughout, each helping create a goal, while Jon Worthington controlled the midfield to such an extent that Danny Schofield and Chris Brandon were able to taunt a Vale back line in which Sam Collins had a tough battle with Andy Booth.
Brandon was excellent and, while he didn't manage the third career goal against Vale which he wanted, he set up two of Abbott's in fantastic style.
The first, after great work by Holdsworth down the right and increasing pressure from Town, involved a neat one-two between Abbott and Brandon which left the Polish Under 21 cap with time and space for a raking left-foot drive which gave Mark Goodlad no chance.
Goodlad had, only moments earlier, made a brilliant one-handed save to keep out Schofield, but there was nothing he could do with any of Abbott's immaculate strikes.
The second was rolled calmly under the keeper after a mistake by George Pilkington had left Abbott in the clear while the third was a rasping volley after Brandon had latched onto an Edwards pass, beaten Collins and crossed to the back post where Abbott coolly controlled before hammering home for the first hat trick of his professional career.
It was richly deserved, because Abbott twice went close when Town had the better of a first half in which both sides struggled to conquer the windy conditions - Edwards and Worthington also worrying Goodlad while Vale didn't have an effort of note to test the confident Gray, who played almost as a sweeper at times.
It was obvious from the opening minutes of the second half, too, that Town were taking the game by the scruff of the neck and both Worthington and Schofield hit the side netting before Abbott started his goal spree.
Jackson's men were totally in charge from the moment they took the lead and there was even time for Jackson to give Akpo Sodje a League debut from the bench - the first time brothers have played for the first team since Sam and Simon Collins.
However, this was Abbott's day and he went home with the match ball signed by his teammates. Let's hope the Poland selectors have taken note.
HOW THEY RATED:
Ian Gray Saved a Paynter header and a James shot but otherwise had little to do. Commanded his area very well Rating: 8/10
Andy Holdsworth Started the move for the first goal and got forward excellently all game. He tackled well and hardly wasted a pass. Very solid Rating: 8/10
Rob Edwards Released Brandon to set up Abbott's hat trick goal and snuffed Levi Reid completely out of the game. Dominant Rating: 8/10
Steve Yates Very efficient display and the normally tricky Vale attack hardly got a look in. Made two vital interceptions near goal Rating: 8/10
Efe Sodje Kept Brooker shackled all game. Went off with a left thigh injury near the end which was not serious. Forceful Rating: 8/10
David Mirfin Another terrific job as sweeper. Cleared a number of set pieces and helped to give Gray an easy day Rating: 8/10
Chris Brandon Superb. Contender for man of the match even though Abbott got a hat trick. Created two of the goals. Excellent Rating: 9/10
Jon Worthington Top-class anchoring job in midfield. Did plenty of solid defending and also went close to scoring. Commanded midfield Rating: 8/10
Danny Schofield Denied by a brilliant one-handed save from Goodlad. Lots of skill in the centre and worked his socks off yet again Rating: 8/10
Andy Booth Strong and reliable in leading the attack. Had a tough battle with Sam Collins but helped Town establish control Rating: 8/10
Pawel Abbott Confident finishing of the highest order earned him a superb first career hat trick. Did little wrong throughout Rating: 10/10
Man of the Match: Pawel Abbott
Went home with the match ball signed by his Town teammates after a match he will never forget. Caused Vale problems all the game and his three strikes were clever and coldly clinical
Port Vale: Goodlad, O'Connor, James, Collins, Pilkington, Reid (Matthews 63), Cummins, Hulbert, J Smith, Brooker, Paynter (Armstrong 63).
Subs not used: Brain (Gkp), D Smith, Lipa.