Sammie Szmodics says Colchester United must strive for automatic promotion in League Two after his wonder strike secured victory at Barnet.

Super sub Szmodics has labelled his goal in the U’s 1-0 win over the Bees as the finest of his career.

The 22-year-old marked his first league appearance in six weeks by helping Colchester move to within two points of the top seven – but the popular attacker says he is aiming higher than the play-offs.

He said: “We’re all positive in there and the only way is up. We’re going to go for the top three – there’s no reason why not.

“The top seven is a minimum but with the form we’re in and the way we’re playing at the minute, there’s no reason why we can’t get top three.

“Our form has been better away from home recently and we upped it even higher and got the three points.

“I scored the winner but it’s a team game and we all played fantastically.”

Szmodics’ mother and grandmother were among the contingent of more than 600 Colchester supporters at Barnet.

That made scoring the winner even more special for the former U’s academy player, after his injury woes.

He said: “You can’t describe what a good feeling it is to see the ball hit the net, not just for me after being out for so long but for anyone - in front of all of those fans, it was amazing.

“I’ve been down with the injuries I’ve had recently and it was needed.

“I had a chance with my first touch which I felt I should have scored but with the second chance, I’ve never hit a ball so well in my life.

“It was with my weaker foot and I’m over the moon that it went in. This was my best goal, just because it was with my left foot.

“Jacko has come round me on the inside and I’ve chosen not to pass to him because the space has just opened up.

“I thought if I hit it as hard as I can, if I get it on target it’s got a chance.

“We said before the game and at half-time we need to test the goalie and we didn’t, so when the space opened up I concentrated on the ball and it went in the top corner.

“There was no other thought in my head at that moment, other than to shoot.”

Colchester’s under-18s are in FA Youth Cup action tonight, against Bishop’s Stortford in the second round at the Community Stadium, at 7.15pm.