Tom Lapslie admits Colchester United cannot afford to spurn chances like the ones they passed up at Cambridge United.

The U’s were guilty of wasting a number of good opportunities to score at the Abbey Stadium and paid the ultimate price, after sliding to a disappointing 1-0 defeat.

Sammie Szmodics and Kyel Reid both had decent openings to find the net in the opening minutes, only to be denied by home keeper David Forde.

Mikael Mandron and debutant Sanmi Odelusi were also guilty of missing the target in the closing stages of the League Two clash.

U’s skipper Lapslie admits that cost Colchester and says they must be more clinical in front of goal.

He said: “There were four good opportunities for us to score goals - if we do that, it puts a completely different complexion on the game.

“We had the chances to score and we haven’t taken them - we can’t be turning them down.

“Szmods got through one on one and the keeper has just got there and then Reidy really should score to be fair and he knows it.

“The keeper has pulled off a good save but he should be burying it, like he did against Forest Green.

“Mika had a chance with his right foot in the second half and Sanmi had a header.”

Colchester’s defeat at Cambridge was their third in as many away games so far, this season.

But midfielder Lapslie insists the U’s form on their travels would not be an issue, had they taken their chances.

“We had opportunities to score and had we taken them, everyone would have stopped talking about the away form,” said the combative midfielder, who completed 90 minutes at Cambridge despite suffering from cramp in the final stages of the defeat.

“I don’t really know what it is and I can’t really put my finger on it.

“All I know is that we’re trying our best to try and change that run around and win some games away, as well as at home.

“We didn’t play that great and we weren’t at our best.

“But we had opportunities to score goals and unfortunately, we haven’t taken them.

“We shouldn’t concede goals like the one we did. Jabo Ibehre came on and did a job for them but we should be dealing with it better.

“We’re devastated really because we felt that we were better than them.

“The boys are gutted because we felt it was a good opportunity to get three points.

“We’ll get our heads down now and work hard and look forward to Saturday to turn it around.”