Colchester United 1 Notts County 3: U’s boss John McGreal slams referee after defeat

Mikael Mandron, Ben Stevenson and Olamide Shodipo congratulate Drey Wright after the winger had put

Mikael Mandron, Ben Stevenson and Olamide Shodipo congratulate Drey Wright after the winger had put the U's in front against Notts County this afternoon. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, felt that Notts County’s veteran striker, Shola Ameobi, was lucky not to be to sent off during the first half of today’s 3-1 home defeat to Notts County.

McGreal was very unhappy with referee Brendan Malone, who merely spoke to Ameobi after the ex-Newcastle man clashed off the ball with U’s skipper Luke Prosser.

As it unfolded, the U’s let slip a half-time lead as the Magpies stormed to victory with three second-half goals at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

This defeat has effectively ended the U’s already distant hopes of making the League Two play-offs.

Drey Wright gave the U’s the ideal start, exchanging a one-two with Ben Stevenson before tucking home his third goal of the season, in the ninth minute.

But John McGreal’s men could not add to their tally, and Jonathan Forte made them pay by diverting home a 51st minute cross for the equaliser, before Ameobi (69) and Richard Duffy (76) completed the turnaround.

“Looking at the video, he (Ameobi) is a lucky boy to still be on the pitch,” explained McGreal.

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“I think decisions made by referees have really killed us this season.

“I’ve watched it back again, and I questioned the fourth official.

“The referee (Malone) was in the ideal place and he has chosen not to see it. He has told me that he did not see it.

“I think that is one of the reasons why he has only refereed about five games (today was acutually his seventh) this season.

“To come into a top-of-the-tablish game, with both teams having a lot to play for, we get a referee that has only refereed about five games (six before kick-off) this season.

“He said that he will have a look at it, and I think he will be disappointed.

“I thought we dominated for large chunks of the game. They had three shots and scored three goals.”

Prosser confirmed after the match that he had been elbowed in the chest by Ameobi.

Meanwhile, Magpies boss Kevin Nolan admitted that his side were fortunate to only be trailing 1-0 to the U’s at half-time.

“I thought Colchester United were the better team in the first half,” said Nolan.

“They could have been more than one goal up, but I was pleased with the character that we showed in the second half.

“We were clinical,” said Nolan.