Colchester United eased their relegation fears with a crucial 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers Shrewsbury Town.

Shrewsbury should have gone ahead in the seventh minute when Tom Eaves headed over unmarked from eight yards and Sam Walker then denied Eaves’ low shot soon after but Colchester warmed to the task after that.

They came close to taking the lead when skipper Brian Wilson’s excellent free-kick from the edge of the area slammed against the underside of the crossbar.

Jabo Ibehre’s shot then flashed just wide of the near post, before Colchester struck the woodwork again four minutes before half-time when Dominic Vose's long-range shot bounced off the crossbar.

Walker pushed away Paul Parry’s free-kick just before the break but the U's took the lead just before the hour when Ibehre did brilliantly to plant a low shot inside the far post, after Alex Gilbey's pass had picked out the striker in the area.

And that proved to be the winning goal for Colchester, who claimed a valuable three points.

For a full match report and pictures from the U's game against Shrewsbury, see Wednesday's Daily Gazette.