COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal pulled no punches after his side slumped to a 1-0 home defeat against lowly Morecambe this afternoon.

The U's suffered back-to-back losses in League Two for the first time this season, after Cole Stockton bagged a headed winner for the Shrimps.

It was Morecambe's first win in the league since August 20 and their first-ever victory over Colchester - and boss McGreal gave an honest assessment of his side's dismal display.

McGreal said: “It was a really poor performance.

“It’s the worst we’ve been in possession of the ball since I took over.

“I just thought we played into their hands by giving the ball away with mis-placed passes and kicking it out of play.

“It killed the game and a set-piece won it for them, so it was disappointing.

“The boys take all of the plaudits when things are going well but when it doesn’t go well, we’ve got to take the criticism and there’s no getting away from the fact that we were poor.

“You have to give Morecambe credit – they came with a game plan and executed it brilliantly well.

“They haven’t been performing as badly as the league table suggests – we tried to get that information across to the players.

“Morecambe killed the game and our mis-placed passes didn’t help us.

“There was a quietness about us – we shouldn’t be lacking confidence because of the form we’ve been in but some of the decisions we made weren’t good.”

Morecambe winner came in the 66th minute when Stockton's header deflected in, following Lewis Alessandra's corner.

“It was mentioned at half-time that they’d set themselves up looking for set plays as well as what they’ve done and it was a poor goal for us to give away," said McGreal.

Dean Gerken was arguably the busier of the two goalkeepers, with the Colchester shot-stopper making a number of good stops throughout the 90 minutes.

And although Morecambe keeper Barry Roche denied Frank Nouble in the first half and saved from substitute Courtney Senior late on, it was a flat performance from the U's.

Another substitute - Luke Norris - went close for the U's late on but McGreal admits a draw might have been flattering for his side, after a disappointing display.

McGreal added: “Luke Norris came close late on but did we deserve it?

"We’d have taken it obviously but looking at the overall performance, we didn’t deserve anything from the game."