RYAN Lowe says it is important that Colchester United’s youngsters finish the season strongly despite their BBC Essex Senior Cup Final disappointment.

A U’s side consisting mainly of under-21 players were beaten by Redbridge in a penalty shoot-out in the final at Dagenham and Redbridge FC, after the game finished 0-0 after 90 minutes.

It was a disappointing way to lose the final but under-21 skipper Lowe has stressed the need to complete their remaining Professional Development League Two games strongly.

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Lowe said: “It’s important that we push on now.

“This is a little bit of a setback and we wanted to win the competition but we’ll push on with the season and see where it goes.

“I think it was a big learning curve for all of us young boys.

“We had experience in the team but we’re still learning to do the right thing.

“It was a great experience playing in that stadium with the fans in a final, where you want to win and the other team are really up for it.

“Hopefully, we can take that it into our careers.


“In the first half, I think we played into their emotions a little bit.

“The second half was a little bit better but I don’t think it was enough to get over the line.

“It’s a final – anything can happen and I think they just edged it on the day.

“It wasn’t nice to hear the other team celebrating in the changing room.

“But I’m hoping we can have more opportunities like that again and push on again, next year.”

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Lowe safely tucked away his penalty in the shoot-out against Redbridge but Colchester ended up losing 5-4 on spot-kicks, against their Isthmian League division north opponents.

“We were favourites to win and the penalties came down to a little bit of pressure,” said the 20-year-old, who has been at Colchester since under-16 level.

“It’s 50-50 in penalties and anything can happen.

“I was glad when mine went in and I sent the keeper the wrong way.

“It’s not an easy situation but that’s what you want as a player.


“You want these pressure games, you want to be put under pressure.

“That’s where you can show how good you really are.”

Lowe, who signed his first professional deal with Colchester in 2022, is hoping to stay at the club next season.

The midfielder’s current deal is due to expire at the end of the season but the U’s have an option to extend it, this summer.

He added: “It’s always a pleasure to play for this club.”