Forest Green boss Mark Cooper is erring on the side of caution when it comes to talking up loanee Jack Aitchison.
The teenage Celtic striker played a pivotal role in Rovers’ fifth 1-0 win of the season as they moved up to third in the table.
Colchester skipper Luke Prosser’s 31st-minute own goal proved to be the decisive moment of the game.
Aitchison bossed things in the number 10 role after scoring the winner as a substitute last time out at Cambridge.
Cooper said: “He’s a clever little footballer, manipulates the ball well and looks a really good footballer, but we have to look after these young players, we have a duty of care.”
Cooper was delighted to see his team keep another clean sheet, and said: “That’s another one, but we probably had to do more defending than we should have done.
“We needed to get the second goal and in my opinion we could have scored three or four goals with good chances and I thought we played particularly well in the first half against a good team.
“That’s five clean sheets in the league. That takes some doing and the boys have defended really well.
“The goal was horrible for the defender. If he doesn’t put it in Kyle Taylor does.
“We’re statistically the most fouled team in England now and we must have gone further ahead with the foul count today, but when you’re a good team that happens.”
Colchester boss John McGreal bemoaned his side’s inability to hit the target as they fell to a first defeat in seven games.
He said: “We keep throwing down the gauntlet for players to score goals throughout the team.
“We’ve got Luke Norris on four goals, Frank Nouble on two but we’ve got no goals anywhere else and that’s a little bit of a worry.
“We’re getting into some brilliant positions and we should be scoring a goal in the second half – no question about it.
“We want our attacking players to score and you can’t always rely on the likes of Nouble and Norris, because they’re going to have indifferent games.
“For the first half an hour you have to give Forest Green and how they moved the ball a bit of credit.
“In the last hour, we were able to keep the ball, gain a bit of territory and make the chances.
“We got into some great positions in the second half but we’re not even hitting the target or making the keeper work.”