Sammie Szmodics' early strike was enough to give Colchester United a hard-earned 1-0 win over Lincoln City tonight.

Szmodics struck early on to seal a big three points for the U's, who leapfrog their opponents in the League Two table with the victory.

John McGreal's side have now gone six games unbeaten in the league, where they have not conceded in more than five and a half hours of football.

McGreal made two changes to his starting line-up for their game against Lincoln.

Doug Loft and Drey Wright both earned recalls having been substitutes against Morecambe last weekend, with Brandon Hanlan and Brandon Comley dropping to the bench.

Colchester were ahead in just the third minute.

After Mikael Mandron’s fine pass had picked out Drey Wright’s run, the attacker took the ball into the area and it eventually ran into the path of Sammie Szmodics who fired past keeper Josh Vickers from close range.

The U's continued to look threatening and almost doubled their lead 11 minutes later when Mandron’s close-range effort was scrambled away for a corner by Vickers, after Szmodics had latched onto Ryan Jackson’s cross and set him up.

But the hosts suffered a big let off on the half hour mark when Lincoln midfielder Nathan Arnold hit the bar with a brilliant 25-yard free-kick for the visitors.

And Colchester suffered an injury blow soon after when Loft was forced off with a shoulder injury and replaced by Brandon Comley.

But the U’s went in at the break ahead and like the opening 45 minutes, the second half was fiercely contested.

Szmodics came close to scoring his and his side’s second goal on the hour when his deflected effort was pushed away by Vickers, after Wright had created the chance.

Lincoln’s Sean Raggett headed straight at Colchester keeper Sam Walker from a corner soon after but at the other end, Tom Eastman’s deft header dropped just past the far post and Szmodics saw another deflected shot fly wide as the hosts looked for a second to give themselves some breathing space.

Szmodics had an effort chalked off for offside and Mandron’s effort was blocked by a defender in the area following Wright’s surging run towards the Lincoln goal, as Colchester pressed.

But the Imps were still in the game and Harry Anderson warmed Walker’s gloves with 15 minutes remaining with a fierce effort.

Colchester sent on Hanlan for the tiring Mandron with ten minutes remaining and almost sealed their victory four minutes to go when Ryan Inniss’s header from a corner flashed just over the bar.

And despite five minutes of stoppage-time being played, the U's claimed a vital win to boost their play-f