Jabo Ibehre said helping Colchester United register a crucial victory was the perfect early birthday present.

The experienced striker, who celebrates his 30th birthday today, scored the U’s goal in their 2-0 win over Walsall, a result which lifted them out of the League One relegation zone.

Ibehre was back in the Colchester side after joining them until the end of the season, following his release from MK Dons.

And after scoring and claiming the man-of-the-match award, the powerful forward was understandably delighted with the way things went against Walsall, where he spent a season on loan in the 2008-09 campaign.

Ibehre said: “It’s my birthday today so it was a nice early present.

“We’re all buzzing after the win and sometimes you have to dig in and get the result, which is what we did."

See Monday's Gazette for more on this story and all of the latest Colchester United news, including a full match report, pictures and reaction from the U's win over Walsall.