DANNY Cowley admits his Colchester United side need to be more ruthless after they conceded in stoppage-time to lose 1-0 at Harrogate Town, this afternoon.

Jack Muldoon's late, late strike condemned Colchester to their first loss in five matches in League Two and Cowley to his first defeat as U's head coach.

Colchester will feel they deserved at least a point from the contest at the EnviroVent Stadium particularly after being the dominant side in the first half.

They had 25 shots in total without scoring but boss Cowley did not want to offer any excuses for his side.

READ MORE: Harrogate 1 Colchester 0 - match report as U's slide to defeat

Cowley said: “When you concede late, it’s always a difficult way to lose a game.

“We came here against the in-form team in the division who had only one loss in ten and we totally dominated the game, particularly in the first half. 

“We had 25 shots in total and it was disappointing that we don't score.

"In the second half, we didn't play with the same control and rhythm as we did in the first half and we lost the ball too quickly.

"It's the transitional nature of League Two football, you have to secure possession and then be good enough to find the second and third pass and we didn't do that so well.

"Then of course, you lose your edge on the counter press and then instead of going forward when you lose it you start going backwards."


Cowley continued: "I don't want to make excuses; I've just said to the players in there, don't leave this changing room thinking you've been unlucky because you haven't.

"When you're having as much dominance as that, you have to be ruthless and we weren't and then in the second half, too many of our players fell out of the game.

"If you want to be a good player and a good player, you play for 90 minutes and too many fell out of the game.

"We've seen it in all of the five performances that we've had; we've played really well for periods in those games but good players and good teams play for 90 minutes with that level of focus and intensity."

READ MORE: Harrogate Town 1 Colchester United 0 - as it happened

Colchester's defeat leaves them seven points above the League Two relegation zone, while Harrogate have moved into the play-off places, with the win.

Cowley added: "When you're the away team and you play against the in-form team in the division, you expect them to have their moments in the game, of course.

"I watched Harrogate in their preparation and there's a lot to admire about them but having watched the game, we can be a good team, we've got good players and I'll be honest, I thought we were better than them today.

"Part of me says there's nothing to fear in the division but the other part of me says credit to Harrogate, because it was really tough for them in the first half and I hardly heard their supporters - I didn't know they were here, until they scored.

"But first half, they stuck in there, they stuck at it and they dug deep and that's why they are where they are in the league.

"I bet there's a lot of away teams that have come here this season and feel like we do now and that is credit to them; I think they're humble, I think they're hard working and I think they're really resilient and I think resilience and durability are things that we need to add to our team."