JOHN McGreal admitted his Colchester United side were architects of their own downfall following their 3-0 defeat at Swindon Town this afternoon.

The U’s have dropped out of the play-off positions and down to eighth in League Two, following their first loss in five matches at the County Ground.

Two goals in as many minutes from Canice Carroll and Luke Woolfenden just before half-time put Swindon in control, at the break.

And when Kyle Bennett added a third for the Robins midway through the second half, the game was effectively over for Colchester.

McGreal said: “Mistakes have obviously cost us, when we’re in control of the game.

“Goals do turn games and to go in 2-0 down at half-time was a bit of a killer blow.

“We’ve had the game for 40 minutes and they had a free-kick that went out of the stand and their fans were singing ‘we’ve had a shot on goal’.

“We weren’t an obvious goal threat but we’ve totally controlled the game.

“Dicko (Brennan Dickenson) had a glorious chance and Mika (Mandron) then from a corner where the keeper made a save.

“I’m sitting there thinking we’re totally in control playing out and playing around their press.

“We got into good areas and we were a little bit wasteful at times.

“We had mistakes and Rene’s held his hand up for the first.

“We have to deal with but it’s a consistent thing where we’ve gone bang bang, with a couple of goals in a couple of minutes.

“We were looking like going in at half-time at 1-0 but we haven’t got out for the cross or tracked the full-back and it’s another poor goal to concede, just before half-time and we came in a little bit shell-shocked.

“Mistakes happen in the game but we go in at half-time 2-0 down and it’s unbelievable.

“It was mindboggling and the message at half-time was to try and get the next goal but it wasn’t to be.

“We tried to regroup and we had a great opportunity just after half-time where Dicko blazed it over.

“We had to try and go for it in the second half and we stopped it and changed the shape and got the four strikers on the pitch.

“But the third goal is another mistake; I think Mika has lost it with a mistake in midfield and whether the wind has got hold of it, we don’t know.”

Colchester were without their leading scorer Sammie Szmodics for the game, after the attacker missed out with a virus.

And with Harry Pell, Tom Lapslie and Brandon Comley also sidelined, the U’s were depleted.

“We were missing four massive players,” added McGreal.

“Sammie Szmodics has a chest infection and has been off most of the week and we had no Pell, Lapslie or Comley but I’m not moaning about it.

“Any team would miss those quality players and we certainly do at the moment.”