Sheffield United eased past struggling Colchester to move back into the League One automatic promotion places.
Barry Robson slotted home his first goal for the Blades from the spot after he had been fouled by Josh Thompson.
The U's responded well and almost equalised when Freddie Sears' free-kick was deflected wide.
But Kevin McDonald's low drive doubled the hosts' lead in the 73rd minute, before Kitson pounced on away keeper Sam Walker's parry for their third.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"The scoreline will suggest that it was a great result, but I think we've had scorelines where it's not been quite as emphatic a win, but a better performance.
"We've just come off the back of three tough games where the boys have had to call on everything in terms of their determination and commitment to the cause and their fitness.
"It's difficult to come off the back of those games and perform to the standard they have again today."
Sheffield Utd 25 Long 04 Higginbotham 05 Maguire 15 Collins 29 McMahon Booked 07 Flynn (De Girolamo - 90' ) 08 Doyle 11 McDonald 19 Robson Booked (Poleon - 58' ) 14 Kitson 23 Murphy Substitutes 35 Coyne 02 Westlake 06 Hill 26 McFadzean 22 Poleon 24 Ironside 36 De Girolamo Colchester 44 Walker 02 Wright (Bond - 86' ) 03 Garmston 04 Okuonghae 25 White 40 Thompson Booked 41 Clifford Booked 39 Porter (Compton - 65' Booked ) 11 Sears Booked 17 Ibehre 21 Massey (Wright - 72' ) Substitutes 29 Shaun Phillips 18 Eastman 14 Bond 15 Bean 30 Wright 09 Morrison 33 Compton