We were second best in both boxes, admits Ward

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward admitted his side were second best in both boxes in their 3-1 home defeat to MK Dons.

The U’s played some good football in an open first half and led at the break courtesy of Steven Gillespie’s cool finish.

Sam Baldock netted a clinical hat-trick for the visitors in the second half though, while Gillespie, Andy Bond and Ashley Vincent all missed superb chances for the hosts.

“We’ve been second best in both boxes,” conceded Ward, whose side are now 13 points adrift of the play-off places following three consecutive defeats.

“We had a good first half and after we got the goal we were confident on the ball.

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“We’ve had terrific chances to score further goals and not taken them and we’ve been pulled apart at the other end and paid the price.

“People say get a striker, well he’s not going to get eight chances a game, they’re going to fall to various people and we’re not taking them.

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“Defence has been a strength of ours all season and again it was fine for 45 minutes, but we were literally opened apart in the second half.”

He added: “I feel for my players today, maybe we need a little breather, maybe we need that week without a midweek game to calm ourselves down before going again.

“I’ve got some comfort that the boys kept trying to play and I think the crowd recognised that. A lot of our supporters will perhaps feel for the team and think we’ve not deserved a 3-1 home defeat.

“Games are running out now (10 league games remaining) and it’s getting tougher for us (to finish in the top six) but we won’t give up. Some people might, but we won’t.”

– For more reaction, including Ward’s plans for the team next week and an interview with goalscorer Gillespie, see Monday’s EADT.

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