WAYNE Brown admitted the manner of Colchester United's defeat to struggling Stevenage was unacceptable following their 2-0 reverse at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Goals either side of half-time from Jamie Reid and former U's striker Luke Norris secured the visitors victory.

Despite a bright start where they created several good opportunities, Colchester produced a lacklustre display to slide to a defeat that leaves them eight points above the League Two relegation zone, with five games remaining.

Brown said: “Let’s not dress it up – we weren’t at the races today and that’s the bottom line.

“It happens, it’s football as I’ve alluded to on many occasions and we’re not robots.

“But it was the manner of the defeat.

“We’ve highlighted this week that it was a local derby and that Stevenage are fighting for their lives and it was a must-win game for them and it showed in large spells of the game, where they wanted to win individual battles more than we did.


“That’s one thing I can’t accept – I can accept getting out-played or being unlucky although I hate that word but I cannot accept being second best to a team that basically wanted to win more than we did.

“One thing I’m not going to do is shy away from things and make excuses – that’s not me and I’ll be honest and that’s what you get with me.

"We've had 17 games now since we came in and it's the first time that it's been in any question.

"We've had some really good solid performances where we've had to dig in and fight and show character and we've done it on many, many occasions.

"So this isn't me being really critical of the lads because they've been spot on and the points tally shows that.

"But when I am critical, it's for a reason and there's a bit of justification in my criticism.

"Today I'm probably fully valid because we huffed and puffed and tried to get into the game and we can hide behind refereeing decisions but I'm not going to do that and never will I.

"The bottom line is that we weren't good enough today."


Colchester were left aggrieved in the second half after Freddie Sears had an effort controversially disallowed for offside.

"We've got the advantage of seeing it again and the linesman and the referee haven't," said Brown.

"But ultimately, they're there to make the correct decisions.

"On this occasion, it wasn't the correct decision - it was onside and the goal was denied.

"But I'm not going to stand here and say that was the reason we lost the game, because it wasn't.

"We had a few half chances in the second half but we just couldn't find a way and that was the most disappointing thing, that we couldn't find a way whilst being second best."


Colchester also felt they should have had a penalty late on when substitute John Akinde tumbled in the box under Terence Vancooten's challenge, with their appeals waved away.

"It's either a penalty or it's a goal-kick," said Brown.

"How they came up with a corner it baffles me.

"On another day, you get a penalty, it's 2-1 and there's 20 minutes left of the game and you're well in.

"But I'm not going to hide behind decisions - it's about us and we didn't do enough.

"Did they deserve to win with quality? No but they deserved to win with a bit of heart, a bit of passion, a bit of desire, a bit of fight and that's what they had more than us today."

Colchester's next game is at promotion-chasing Exeter City, on Good Friday.

Brown said: "There's five games to go and we need more points on the board.

"It's about regrouping because we've got (games on) Friday and Monday this Easter weekend.

"This game is brilliant because it always gives you an opportunity to put the wrongs right.

"We have an opportunity away to Exeter on Friday to do that."