U's must bounce back

COLCHESTER United defender Wayne Brown admitted that Tuesday night's FA Cup defeat at Barnet had been the lowest point of the last year.A fantastic 2006 had seen the U's secure automatic promotion to the Championship in May, and then power into the play-offs over the last month.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United defender Wayne Brown admitted that Tuesday night's FA Cup defeat at Barnet had been the lowest point of the last year.

A fantastic 2006 had seen the U's secure automatic promotion to the Championship in May, and then power into the play-offs over the last month.

However, Geraint Williams' men were put firmly in their place by League Two hosts Barnet in a topsy-turvy third round tie at Underhill.


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Second-half strikes from Ismail Yakubu and Jason Puncheon wiped out Jamie Cureton's 35th-minute opener, so securing a 2-1 win for Paul Fairclough's Barnet, who are now in the fourth round for the first time in their history.

“You have to take the rough with the smooth, and we've had a lot of smooth over the last 12 months,” admitted Brown.

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“But this is the lowest point of our last year, and it's a big test of character for the lads to bounce back from this, starting against Leicester on Saturday.

“We let ourselves down, we let our fans down, and we let the manager down as well. We are very disappointed with our second-half display.

“Barnet worked up a good head of steam. They seemed to be more up for it than us, which is hard to take.”

Only last February, the U's enjoyed a fifth round trip to Premiership champions Chelsea (3-1 defeat), a memorable match that was screened live on Sky TV. And the previous season, they had relished another visit to Premiership opposition, in the shape of Blackburn (3-0 defeat).

But any hopes of another long cup run - Barnet will now entertain either Plymouth or Peterborough in round four - were dashed in depressing fashion in Hertfordshire.

“That's our chance gone in the FA Cup for another season,” rued Brown. “We've had a great deal of success in that competition over the last two or three seasons, but now we have to go home and take a look at ourselves, and the way that we performed.

“We have got to be right for Saturday. We need to get a reaction quickly. It's all about starting in the right frame of mind against Leicester,” added Brown.

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