COLCHESTER United boss John McGreal admitted his side were beaten by the better side in their FA Cup defeat against Coventry City.

First-half goals from Jordan Shipley and Sam McCallum saw the Sky Blues make serene progress into the second round on a disappointing afternoon at the JobServe Community Stadium.

McGreal felt his side’s decision-making was poor at times, admitting there were “too many turnovers in the wrong areas at the wrong times”.

But he was full of praise for 1987 FA Cup winners Coventry, who will now wait with bated breath for Monday’s draw.

“We’re bitterly disappointed to go out, especially at home,” said McGreal.

“But sometimes, even when you’re doing well, you come up against a side that are better than you.

“We’ve been in a position throughout the course of the season where the opposition have said ‘hats off’ to us.

“Today, we have to be honest and say ‘hats off’ to Coventry.

“We’re a progressing team but they’re doing very well in League One. You could see why.

“Their passing and movement was very good.

"They seemed to have time on the ball and used it well.

“In the second half, we got to grips with them a bit more and had a few phases, without overly testing their goalkeeper.

“Sometimes you have to learn from different challenges and I said pre-match this would be our biggest challenge of the season, apart from the Carabao Cup ties (against Premier League pair Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur). That proved the case.”

McGreal felt his side were getting back in the game, after falling behind to Shipley’s 11th-minute opener.

But McCallum’s fortuitous second – a free-kick from the right that somehow floated inside the far post – took the wind from their sails.

“The second goal killed us because we were getting a bit of momentum,” said McGreal.

“It was a soft goal and one that gave them a bit of breathing space, allowing them to be a bit more expansive.

“We’d just adapted our shape and it’s a shame we couldn’t keep it at 1-0.

“I can’t fault the players in terms of their effort but sometimes you just have to give the opposition credit.

“One of the biggest disappointments, from our point of view, was our ball retention.

“Some of our decision-making was poor, which is unlike us of late.

“We’re a possession-based side but there were too many turnovers in the wrong areas at the wrong times.”