McGreal ‘proud’ of his players despite FA Cup defeat at Accrington

U's keeper Rene Gilmartin down with a hamstring injury and is eventually substituted during the firs

U's keeper Rene Gilmartin down with a hamstring injury and is eventually substituted during the first half at Accrington Stanley. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, was “proud” of his side’s display despite bowing out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 defeat at League One hosts Accrington Stanley this afternoon.

It was not a good day for the Essex visitors, in terms of the result and a couple of injuries – they also picked up injuries to defender Tom Eastman and keeper Rene Gilmartin.

The U’s had enjoyed the better of the first half-hour, but they found themselves trailing to Dan Barlaser’s deflected shot in the 35th minute, and could not fashion an equaliser during what was a frustrating afternoon.

“I think the injuries took the wind out of our sails,” rued McGreal.

“It all went against us in the first half, but I thought we started really well and we had the chances to score a couple of goals in the first 20 or 25 minutes.

- Match report of U’s defeat at Accrington


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“We managed to play through them (Accrington), but did not take our early opportunities, which is unusual for us.

“Their goal took a big deflection (off Harry Pell), otherwise I think Dillon (Barnes) had it covered.

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“We had to roll up our sleeves in the second half, which we did, and that’s why I am proud of the performance.

“I certainly didn’t think there looked to be a division’s difference between the two teams,” added McGreal.

With regards the injuries, McGreal said: “Tom (Eastman) has a big lump on his head, and Tony (Flynn) was right to take him off, while Rene (Gilmartin) has injured his hamstring, somehow.!

And referring to Luke Norris’ injury from the previous weekend’s 1-0 win to Swindon, McGreal said: “Luke’s injury is hopefully no near as bad as we first feared.

“We are going to let the ankle settle down for a couple of weeks, but hopefully he won’t need an operation.”

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