U's boss praises his side's attitude

COLCHESTER United manager Geraint Williams chose to highlight his side's never-say-die attitude, rather than dwell on the controversial late penalty that denied his team a first win of the season.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United manager Geraint Williams chose to highlight his side's never-say-die attitude, rather than dwell on the controversial late penalty that denied his team a first win of the season.

“The lads showed a fantastic attitude. To go down to 10 men and also a goal down in our first home game of the season, we had a mountain to climb,” confessed Williams.

“But these players never know when they are beaten. Teddy (Sheringham) showed all his experience to get us the equaliser. There's no point in getting old if you don't' get wise!


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“Teddy has got one goal in two games, and it would be great if he could keep up that ratio. It was once again testimony to his fitness that he played the full 90 minutes.

“The difference between three points and just one is huge, and we thought that we had done enough to win the game until the penalty in the last few minutes.

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“Johnnie (Jackson) has half turned his back in blocking the shot, which we weren't happy about, but I didn't see his hands go up, which is what the referee gestured.

“You can't raise your arms in the box, but the ball looked to hit Johnnie in the shoulder. I don't know how you're supposed to stop that from happening.

“It was frustrating, because my players were magnificent, and even after that penalty we had a chance to win it when Karl Duguid, one of our full-backs, was in their box having a shot,” added Williams.

Centre-half Matthew Connolly was initially credited with the U's second goal, before it was finally corrected as a Rob Kozluk own goal.

Connolly said: “I'd liked to have claimed it, but it was not my goal. It was an own goal.

“It was probably right that Dean Gerken should get the red card. We had dominated before that moment, and it was just a shame about the penalty at the end.

“It was the same scoreline as the previous weekend, but whereas we were happy with the point at Sheffield United, we should be beating teams like Barnsley at home.”

U's rookie keeper Mark Cousins never dreamt that he would make his senior debut so early in his career, especially in such circumstances.

Cousins said: “My parents didn't bother to come and watch, because I didn't think that I'd get on the pitch. I never usually do, but they are probably regretting it now. Perhaps they might make the journey up to Preston from Chelmsford next weekend for our next game, though I don't know whether I'll be playing. That's up to the gaffer.”

U's midfielder Johnnie Jackson said of the controversial late penalty: “I'm just stunned. The lads are all gutted in the dressing room.

“We said to ourselves at half-time that we could go on and win this game, despite being down to 10 men. It was there for us. I couldn't see Barnsley scoring, and the only way they did was from a dodgy penalty!”

Barnsley manager Simon Davey was not happy with the dismissal of his skipper, Paul Reid, for use of his elbow on Sheringham.

He said: “I felt that Paul (Reid) did not deserve to go. He led with his arm, but it was not intentional. There was no malice in the challenge.

“I think that the referee just wanted to even things up. Colchester had raised their game, after going down to 10 men, which I feared they would. They blocked all the holes that we wanted to get in.

“But when it was 10 versus 10, we upped our pace, and we could have gone on to win the game.”

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