MICHAEL Folivi says scoring on his first-ever Colchester United start left him feeling ‘on top of the moon’.

The 22-year-old forward, who signed for the U’s earlier this month after leaving Watford, was on target with an emphatic finish in their 6-1 triumph over Southend United in the Papa John’s Trophy, on Tuesday night.

It was a milestone moment for Folivi, who made his first competitive start for more than a year after battling back from injuries to get back out on the pitch.

Folivi said: “I’ve got my first goal – hopefully the fans were watching that!

“Hopefully I can kick on from there.

“I said last week that the quicker you get off the mark as a striker the better and the feeling put me on top of the moon.

“I got my chance and I got my goal – I decided to take it early.

“We do small-sided games in training and the boys were bantering me calling me Danny Welbeck and Dwight Yorke and those kind of things because I like to say that I’m a sharp striker in the box.

“I wanted to catch the keeper off his guard and when I saw it hit the back of the net, there’s no better feeling.”

Folivi says he already feels like ‘part of the family’ having signed permanently for Colchester, last week.

The former Coventry City loanee has linked up again with U’s assistant Hayden Mullins, whom he worked under during their time at Watford.

“It’s been quite a journey for me,” added Folivi, who had been training with the U’s prior to last week signing a contract until the end of the season.

“I was out for such a long time, so there were quite dark days.

“But credit to my family and my team and my loved ones around me – they kept me sane.

“My Dad is a big part of my football and he’s put it into my head just how key it is to have the manager’s support and someone who knows your game and can bring the confidence back, as he could see I was in a dark place as well.

“Coming from Watford, there were a few options but I had to find my feet again.

“I worked with Hayden Mullins for quite a few years at Watford and he trusted me and he trusted my ability and I felt at home straight away.

“He’s bringing the best out of me every day in training and hopefully you can now see it on the pitch, with goals like that.

“I’m still young and learning my trade and confidence from the bosses on the sideline and the boys backing me to means we’re in a good place.

“A long-term injury is really hard to come from and I’m just grateful to be back playing.

“Just being back on the training field is really where it starts but I got myself in the building and training and then getting on is a surreal feeling.

“It’s been hard with Covid not having a club, finding a club, getting on the pitch, starting a game and scoring – it’s all happening so far and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s such a family club and the boys have welcomed me since I’ve come in.

“I felt like part of the family before I was even signed, so that was a huge thing.”