John McGreal admitted the introduction of former Colchester United striker Jabo Ibehre contributed to the downfall of his side at Cambridge United.

Ibehre, who made 76 appearances for the U’s before leaving them in the summer of 2015, came off the bench to provide the assist for Uche Ikpeazu to score the hosts’ winner just before the hour mark, to clinch a 1-0 win at the Abbey Stadium.

Colchester had their chances before and after Ikpeazu’s well-taken winner, as they fell to a third successive away loss this season.

U’s head coach McGreal said: “We knew that it would be highly competitive game, against Shaun (Derry’s) team.

“They defended really well in the first half and we could have been a goal in front in the first couple of minutes through (Kyel) Reidy.

“We were pleased and got them in at half-time expecting more of the same and we wanted to get the ball down and play.

“There was nothing in it again – it was tight but they brought on Jabo (Ibehre) up front and he started ruffling up our back four.

“They started to get a few more breaks from there.

“We switched the system late on and could have nicked a draw but the influence of Jabo coming on made that difference.”

"We did a lot of prep on Cambridge this week and we knew that the ball was going to come in from different angles.

"In the first half, we dealt with it.

"It was only in the second half that they made that little bit of a change and we haven't been able to deal with it and that's the disappointment."

McGreal confirmed that Lewis Kinsella's half-time withdrawal was a tactical decision but that Kyel Reid was forced off with a hip injury, early in the second half.