Tom Lapslie admits it was a massive feeling of relief when Colchester United held out for a draw at Coventry City.

The U’s stand-in skipper was dismissed in his side’s goalless draw at Coventry City after being cautioned twice in the space of barely a minute.

After being booked for a foul, Lapslie was quickly shown a second yellow card by referee Michael Salisbury for deliberate handball, leaving the U’s to play out the remaining 14 minutes plus stoppage-time with only ten men at the Ricoh Arena.

However, Colchester held out on for a well-deserved point, leaving midfielder Lapslie relieved.

Lapslie said: “I’ve apologised to the boys and it was a massive feeling of relief.

“It was top drawer from the boys to hang on, because Coventry are a top passing side. Our shape was incredible throughout and it was a really impressive away performance.

“I’m angry and frustrated with the way it happened.

“It’s really harsh but I have to thank the boys because they’ve dug in for the last 20 minutes.

“I was sweating, just praying Coventry wouldn’t score.

“I went back to the changing room but I couldn’t hear anything – I couldn’t even get the score up on my phone as there was no signal so I was going a bit insane in there.

“The stewards wouldn’t let me through to the bench so I had to walk towards the tunnel and listen out for hopefully no cheers.”

Lapslie admits he disputed both of the yellow cards he received against Coventry – but was particularly disappointed with the manner of his second caution.

He said: “I’m an honest man and if I’d felt it was a deserved sending off, I’d have held my hands up.

“For the second booking, I’ve just tracked my man to the corner and shielded the ball out of play - the boy’s tripped me over and I’ve gone over on the ball thinking it’s a standard free-kick and 100 per cent a foul to us.

“But I’ve got up and the referee has given a free-kick to them, so I couldn’t believe what I’d seen.

“The lino said that I’d fallen on the ball but then the referee has gone over to him and asked what’s happened and then after that, I’ve apparently deliberately handballed it.

“Even I was going off, their captain said he couldn’t believe the referee had booked me for the first tackle – it was my first foul of the game.

“I would dispute both bookings but one I could accept but the second, I can’t see how he’s thought it’s a sending off.”

He will be suspended for Colchester’s home clash with Crewe Alexandra this weekend.