Sinner Gillespie admits he was fired up

COLCHESTER United marksman Steven Gillespie admitted he was “fired up” before the robust challenge that led to his red card at Crewe.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United marksman Steven Gillespie admitted he was “fired up” before the robust challenge that led to his red card at Crewe.

But Gillespie, the U's club record signing, still hopes that video evidence will clear him of the violent conduct offence, though that seems unlikely.

The ex-Cheltenham striker will be hit with a three-match suspension, for his 87th minute challenge on Crewe right-back Danny Woodards, unless the U's lodge a successful appeal against referee's Iain Williamson's decision.

Gillespie had missed the last couple of matches with a tweaked hamstring, and so was desperate to impress after his introduction as a substitute on the hour mark. But it all turned sour, both for him and the team.

“It was just one of those things. The game was not going well for us and I was fired up,” confessed Gillespie following the 2-0 defeat.

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“I wanted to show our supporters that I was giving it my all, and the challenge was in front of them. But I thought that I got a foot to the ball.

“I went in hard, because you often get hurt yourself if you don't go in hard. In my opinion, the referee couldn't get his red card out quick enough. I thought I should have got a yellow card, but not a red one.

“I don't want to miss many more games, because I've already missed my share this season. It's been very stop-start for me.

“I hope that there might be an appeal. I nicked the ball, but we'll have to wait and see. Maybe Crewe will put in a good word in for me,” added Gillespie.

It's not the first time that Gillespie has been sent off in his career. In fact, the 24-year-old was shown the red card three times during his three seasons at Cheltenham.

But having missed some of pre-season with a thigh injury, and then only started two games this term due to calf and hamstring problems, he can ill afford another enforced stay on the sidelines.

Gillespie admitted that the team as a whole did not perform. He continued: “We're making no excuses. We were simply not good enough.

“It was end-to-end, but we are better then that. As we said to each other in the dressing room at the end - this is not the way we play. We have a long journey home to think about it.

“I felt good after my hamstring injury, which makes it all the more frustrating. I wanted to come on and help the team, having had time to study Crewe's weaknesses from the bench. But it didn't work out,” added Gillespie.

Meanwhile, manager, U's boss Geraint Williams revealed: “Steven (Gillespie) told me that he stretched for the ball and won it. He rocked into the lad's ankle through the ball, and not through kicking him. But the referee made his decision.

“Steven said that he won the ball. Perhaps it was a forward's tackle, but it looks like costing him. I will look at the video before deciding whether to appeal against the sending off. No one wants to see bad tackles in a game, but Steven is not that sort of lad.”

Williams was understandably disappointed with his side's display, especially in terms of their decision-making with the final ball, and with Crewe's two goals.

He said: “The first goal really shook us, and our game slowly fell away.

“You need the self-belief to keep going after conceding a goal. I had no fault with the effort of the players, but there wasn't enough thinking behind that effort.

“You can't stop some sublime skill for some goals, but we didn't make Crewe work hard enough for their two.

“We should have defended the free-kick better for the first goal. I'm not blaming Dean Gerken and I'm not criticising individuals, but rather the team as a whole.

“Now is not the time to criticise, in the heat of the moment. It's better to analyse the game in the cold light of day.

“I was very disappointed with our second half performance. We conceded the first goal after only two minutes, and never got over it. Our decision making in the final third was poor.

“Our final ball, whether it be a cross or a shot, was not good enough,” said Williams.

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