Colchester United goalkeeper Sam Walker believes he is currently enjoying one of the best spells of his career.

The U’s shot-stopper has been an ever-present in League Two for John McGreal’s side so far, this season.

The 26-year-old has helped Colchester keep three consecutive clean sheets and they head into today's home clash with Cheltenham Town having not conceded a goal in nearly five hours of football.

Long-serving Walker has played his part in the U’s impressive form and the former Chelsea youngster says he has benefited from the arrival of player/goalkeeper coach Rene Gilmartin, last summer.

Walker said: “I think the first half of this season has been the most fruitful that I’ve had in my career, so far.

“I’d like to think that I’ve taken my game on to a new level, over the last few months.

“Reg (Rene Gilmartin) has been brilliant since he came in last summer and he’s been a real breath of fresh air.

“He’s really helped me and I’d like to think I can continue in the same way in the second half of the season and hopefully help us get promoted.”

Colchester boast the fifth-best defensive record in League Two this season, having conceded just 27 goals in their 26 league games to date.

“We’ve been excellent defensively for a long period of time, now,” said Walker, who played every minute of every League Two game for Colchester, last season.

“Even when we’ve conceded in games, it’s only one goal or maybe two.

“We’ve had three consecutive clean sheets and that’s credit to the team, as a whole – it’s not just the back three or four.

“As pleasing as clean sheets are as a team though, it is ultimately about winning games of football as a team.

“It was disappointing that we didn’t display our usual cutting edge against Cambridge and maybe the chances didn’t quite fall for us on the day.

“As always, we’ll be working on that aspect in training leading up to the Cheltenham game to try and put that right.”