JOHN McGreal says Sammie Szmodics' reputation is growing fast after his strike secured Colchester United three points at Forest Green Rovers tonight.

Szmodics scored his third goal in four league games and his eighth of the season to seal the U's a 1-0 win at the New Lawn, keeping them third in League Two.

Szmodics produced a fine all-round display for Colchester, prompting praise from head coach McGreal.

McGreal said: “It’s what we’ve been waiting for.

“We’ve had opportunities in games but haven’t been able to take them but it’s not been for the lack of trying.

“We’ve been able to take an opportunity tonight and again, Szmods is Johnny on the spot.

“It’s another crisp finish into the bottom corner.

“The way that he’s going at the minute, his reputation is getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

“It’s not only the goals he’s scoring – it’s also his defensive work and work ethic which is off the scale.

“It was a great performance by Sam but also by the whole team."

Szmodics struck in the 25th minute to win the game for Colchester, who produced an organised and discplined display throughout.

McGreal added: “I thought that we started well – Forest Green had a tactic of sitting us off us but we grew into the game and got a good goal.

“They then changed it and gave us a little bit of a high press but after that, I thought we showed a good defensive shape in the second half.

“We were always dangerous on the counter and if anything, I thought we were a little bit wasteful.

“We had one or two opportunities in the second half where we should have made more of the opportunities which we didn’t.

“But I didn’t feel under pressure at all really.

“I thought Luke (Prosser) came in and marshalled his back four and the people in front of him excellently and it was a great clean sheet for Dillon (Barnes)."

Colchester now have a ten day break between fixtures in League Two, as they have no game this weekend.

The U's' next game is at home to bottom club Macclesfield Town, on Saturday week.