“We just messed it up at the end” – Colchester United boss Kevin Keen

Kevin Keen

Kevin Keen - Credit: Archant

Colchester United boss Kevin Keen admitted that his team ”messed up” after conceding two late goals to suffer a 2-1 defeat at Walsall this afternoon.

The U’s appeared to be on course to record what would have been only their seventh league win of the season, thanks to Alex Gilbey’s powerful header in first-half stoppage time.

Gilbey followed up his goal in the previous weekend’s 3-3 draw against Wigan with a clinical header from Owen Garvan’s corner.

But just as the U’s had conceded a late equaliser against the Latics, so they leaked another late leveller at Walsall, with Tom Bradshaw poaching an 89th minute equaliser.

And worse was to come, as substitute Matt Preston then rammed home a dramatic winner, in the third minute of stoppage time, to poach all three points for the Saddlers.

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“It’s difficult to come to terms with,” rued Keen.

“But that’s football. And football can be really, really cruel sometimes.

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“For 89 minutes, we were the better team, and our keeper had very few saves to make.

“But we’ve had a habit of conceding late goals this season, both before and during my time here.

“Frankie Kent just switched off for a second, and Tom Bradshaw produced a good finish for the equaliser.

“But I’m disappointed that we didn’t then hold out for 1-1, and Darren (Ambrose) also had a great chance to win it for us.

“Yet they had the momentum, being the home team and in their position, and it wass they who got the winner.

“To say I’m disappointed is an under-statement.

“We just messed it up at the end,” added Keen.

The U’s remain rock bottom of League One, with relegation an almost certainty.

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