Brandon Hanlan says scoring his first-ever professional league goal is a feeling he will never forget.

And after scoring on his Colchester United debut, the young striker is now targeting a place in John McGreal’s starting line-up.

Hanlan came off the bench to head a late equaliser for the U’s in their 1-1 draw with Chesterfield, on Tuesday night.

The 20-year-old striker, who joined Colchester on loan from League One side Charlton Athletic on transfer deadline day, admits it was a moment he will cherish forever.

Hanlan said: “I won’t forget that moment when I scored – I don’t think anyone forgets their first league goal.

“My aim was to score and I came on and did it, so I think this is the start of something.

“To do it here, in front of the home supporters, I couldn’t ask for more.

“Being a striker, you have to be on the move in the box all of the time.

“I spun off a defender and got the flick on and saw the keeper didn’t have it.

“I can’t really put how I felt into words when I scored but it was my first professional league goal, so it was a great feeling.

“It felt good just to be out on the pitch but the goal was a great bonus.

“My next aim now is to try and get in the starting line-up and to keep scoring.

“I’ve come here on loan to play first-team football and that’s what it’s all about.

“I just have to keep performing and stay in the first team.”

Hanlan says that both he and his Colchester team-mates have set their sights on winning their first away game of the season when they travel to take on struggling Cheltenham Town, this weekend.

The U’s lie 16th in League Two, after claiming four points from a possible six in their last two home games.

“The boys are all full of confidence and we can take this league by the scruff of the neck, win some games and move up the table,” said Hanlan, who was on loan at National League side Bromley last season.

“We fell behind in the game but we responded really well to that.

“We had chances throughout the whole game but it’s just about finishing.

“We should have converted more of the chances and come out with the win but all we can do is move onto Saturday and get the win.”

Hanlan had spent six weeks out prior to joining Colchester because of an ankle ligament but insists he is now fully fit.

He added: “I’m feeling 100 per cent now - I played one or two under-23 games to get my fitness and confidence back and I’m ready to take on the season.”