Colchester United head coach John McGreal said he was 'immensely proud' of his side after they deservedly beat Grimsby Town 1-0 to keep their League Two play-off hopes alive.

Frank Nouble's first-half strike gave the U's a much-needed victory at the JobServe Community Stadium, ending a run of three successive home defeats.

Colchester now lie two points off the play-off places with three games remaining and boss McGreal was pleased with his team, following a dominant display.

McGreal said: “I thought we were excellent – the pressure is on knowing that we needed a result, knowing the Exeter result.

“We were outstanding with some of our attacking display and our defending was minimal at times but we had to deal with their two lads up top.

“But some of our attacking display was breath-taking and I think the stats prove that.

“I think we had 18 or 19 shots and 11 or 12 on target but only the one goal to show for it – but the three points is more important.

“I really, really enjoyed the game – the pressure is on and we have to handle that at whatever level.

“I was really proud of the boys and how we went all about it over the last couple of weeks, even though we haven’t got the results.

“We all read where we should be and where we shouldn’t be but I’m immensely proud of the boys.

"We're a young team and an element of nerves does creep in.

"But they haven't had a shot on target and I think we've protected Dillon (Barnes) brilliantly well.

"We dealt with their long ball and their set plays and I thought on the counter, we should be scoring another couple of goals.

"We didn't and we needed to see the game out and I must mention the subs - I thought they came on and picked up the heat of the game pretty quickly and made themselves felt as well."

McGreal made three changes to his starting line-up, bringing Dillon Barnes, Brennan Dickenson and Tom Eastman back into the side.

Nouble played as the U's main striker and was rewarded by scoring the U's all-important winner against Grimsby, who had skipper Danny Collins sent off in stoppage-time after he picked up a second booking for a foul on substitute Abo Eisa.

“We haven’t been scoring goals and that’s been the crux of the problem," said McGreal.

"It was time for big Frank to go on top and put his name to the mast and get the goal and he was able to do that.

"It was a terrifically calm finish."