MATTY Etherington says he understands the frustrations of Colchester United's disgruntled supporters following their 2-1 home reverse to Crawley Town this afternoon.

But the U’s head coach has called on U’s fans to 'give him a chance', after a section of the home support made their feelings known both during and after the defeat, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Colchester slumped to a fourth successive defeat in League Two and sit one place above the relegation zone, after goals either side of half-time from Liam Kelly and Danilo Orsi proved enough to secure Crawley only their second away win of the season, despite Joe Taylor’s stoppage-time consolation.

READ MORE: Colchester 1 Crawley 2 - match report after U's home defeat

Etherington said: “I understand the fans’ frustrations but I’ve had 11 games bear in mind; I’ve not been in this role for 11 months.

“I had Tom Dallison call me at 8.30am this morning to say that his back seized up after training yesterday, Connor Hall had a little setback but he should be back sooner rather than later, Nico Lawrence is obviously out, Jay Mingi is on his way back, there’s also Owura Edwards and Ellis Iandolo out too.

“There’s players missing out of this team at the minute and I think all these injuries have really not helped the team.

“It’s an integral part of what we’re trying to do.

“I understand their frustrations but it’s only been 11 games, give me a chance.”


Samson Tovide spurned two gilt-edged opportunities early in the game to give Colchester the lead, while substitute John Akinde saw a deflected shot come back off a post after half-time, as the hosts were beaten.

“The players are absolutely devastated in there,” said Etherington.

“There wasn’t much said and I don’t think there was much to say, in terms of the type of game it was and what they gave.

“Yes 100 per cent, we need to be better in both boxes and our decision making needs to be better but they were really deflated.

“It’s disappointing to lose the game and I understand the fans’ frustration but it’s just not really happening at the moment.

READ MORE: Colchester United 1 Crawley Town 2 - as it happened

“We had two big opportunities and if we take them, the game looks very different.

“They then got their goal and it probably took a little bit of belief out of players after that.

“We’ve just got to be better in both boxes.

“The second goal is avoidable initially, the way we deal with it – I’m not sure it’s a penalty.

“Those early moments were key to the game.

“I think if we take one of them, it looks a different afternoon.

“It kind of fizzled out a little bit but I can’t fault the players; they kept going.


“They were looking for something but albeit, they couldn’t find it in the end.

“Crawley passed the ball well; they’re a possession-based team and do it well but we’re not getting the key moments right at the minute.

“When I first took over, we were getting the key moments right in both boxes but we’re probably not, at the minute.

“I can’t go in there and speak to the players and speak to them about what they’re giving us in terms of endeavour – I defy anyone to tell me any different and those players kept going until the end on a really heavy pitch.”

The game was given the green light to go ahead by referee James Durkin after heavy rain in the morning left it in jeopardy.

READ MORE: John Akinde raring to go again for U's after 'awkward' injury

Both Etherington and his Crawley opposite number Scott Lindsey agreed that the match should go ahead, after consulting with the officials.

Etherington added: “It was borderline whether it was going to be on or not.

“Credit to the groundstaff who did an unbelievable job getting this pitch ready today.

“When I got here at around 11.30am, it didn’t look playable at all.

“Credit to the under-18s for coming in and helping to take the covers off.

“I’m disappointed we couldn’t reward them with a win.”