Colchester United picked up a hugely important three points against Shrewsbury Town to ease themselves up the table and create a five point cushion over the bottom four.
Having suffered two successive defeats it was imperative that Colchester responded with a win against a Shrewsbury side that held Wolves to a goalless draw at the weekend.
After a frustrating goalless first half, Alex Gilbey set up Jabo Ibehre to score his eighth goal of the season and the U’s protected that lead admirably for the rest of the game.
As League One’s lowest scorers faced off against a Colchester side who were looking for goals, the first half was a tight affair.
It was Shrewsbury with the first good chance as Jermaine Grandison raced to the by-line and swung a cross onto the head of Tom Eaves, the resulting header however soared well over the bar from a great position.
Following the weekend game at Crawley the woodwork had made any enemy after denying U’s twice, and their own goal posts provided no more luck in this first half when they kept out two shots.
Colchester had done well to earn the first of these chances as Tom Eastman picked out Gavin Massey with a searching ball over the defence.
Massey turned to set up Sanchez Watt for a shot but he was fouled resulting in the free kick which Wilson curled painfully onto the underside of the cross bar.
U’s upped the pressure and leading scorer Jabo Ibehre was on the end of two chances, first half volleying the ball just wide of goal on the turn, and secondly heading on target from a corner.
Energetic midfielder Dom Vose was next to be kept out by the woodwork when he let off an audacious shot from 30 yards out which thundered up off of the cross bar and out for a goal kick.
At the other end as the last play before half time, Paul Parry who had two goals in his last three games nearly got another as his free kick curled across goal only for Sam Walker to keep it out.
The second half started as slowly as the first half ended with the home side slightly edging out possession and looking dangerous from their early set pieces.
Ten minutes into the half U’s finally got the goal. Alex Gilbey picked out Ibehre just inside box and the striker turned to lash a right footed shot past Joe Anyon for his eighth goal of the season.
The following period was dominated by Colchester who lifted by the goal, continued to push forward with Ibehre threatening for a second, leaving Shrewsbury mere passengers.
Eaves and Joe Jacobsen made way for Bahrudin Atajic and leading scorer Jon Taylor as the away side looked to get themselves back into the game it entered the latter stages.
Chances in the last fifteen were scarce and Joe Dunne looked to completely shut out any chance of a Shrewsbury equalizer with David Wright and Craig Eastmond coming on to pack the midfield.
Whilst Shrewsbury relentlessly pushed forward for a vital goal it was the U’s attack which still looked more likely to score with the substitute Macauley Bonne providing a new outlet up top.
The resolute Colchester defence held on to go a much needed three points against a side who are left in the bottom four with Jabo Ibehre found his goal scoring touch at the right time.