Matty Stevens grabbed the game’s only goal as Forest Green ended their seven-match winless run with a 1-0 victory at Colchester on Monday evening.

Colchester, sporting yellow and blue to help raise money for the humanitarian effort in Ukraine, went close early on when Noah Chilvers’ fierce low shot was parried by Luke McGee.

But Shamal George denied Stevens and Jack Aitchison’s 20-yard blast clattered the hosts’ crossbar before the visitors took a ninth-minute lead when Stevens stooped to head in Daniel Sweeney’s delivery.

U’s keeper George made a smart save to foil Jamille Matt from close range soon after and then raced out to thwart Ebou Adams.

George also kept out another powerful strike from Aitchison before half-time but the second half was a more even affair, with much of it played out in midfield.

Colchester substitute Junior Tchamadeu’s low effort struck the near post with seven minutes to go but the home side could not muster an equaliser.

Forest Green boss Rob Edwards felt his side deserved the win, which moved his side eight points clear at the top of League Two.

“We could have had more goals and it is something that we need to get back to,” Edwards said.

“We’ve spoken about that before but we did enough to win the game.

“When you keep a clean sheet, you only need one but we did have other chances that we probably should have taken.

“The lads can get a little bit of downtime and refresh because we know there’s a lot of games coming. We know what’s coming so it’s going to be intense.

“We’ve got a bit of time now – we’ve got the rest of this week and then we’ve got a full week’s training before we play again.

“We’re well aware of the situation now and we know what we’ve got coming up.

“As I always say, every game is difficult, especially at this stage of the season, but there’s a spirit and a togetherness that the lads have got.”

Rovers are not in action until April 2 when they host Scunthorpe United, the first of three home games in a week as Mansfield and Hartlepool also visit the New Lawn.

Those are the first of eight league games for Forest Green in April. If all goes according to plan, they will be declared champions before the month is over.