STEVE Ball bemoaned his Colchester United side's inability to deal with set-pieces after they conceded a stoppage-time goal to suffer an agonising 2-1 defeat at Newport County.

The U's thought they had claimed a point at Rodney Parade after substitute Jevani Brown had netted in the 89th minute, to cancel out Scott Twine's thunderbolt.

But Padraig Amond scored in the first minute of time added on from a corner to break Colchester hearts and condemn them to a second League Two defeat of the season.

Ball said: "It's happening too many times now with set pieces and we need to be better at them.

"Teams are maybe going to target us with them and we just have to pick up our men and pick up second phase.

"We have to be strong and we weren't and were punished.

"Newport are a good side who are flying this year but I thought the longer the game went on, we grew into it a lot.

"We can't keep conceding set pieces like that - we have to get it out of our game."

Newport were the better side in a goal-less first half and the hosts went ahead early in the second half through Twine's 25-yard strike.

But Colchester improved after that and when Brown pounced to convert after fellow substitute Kwame Poku's shot had only been parried by keeper Nick Townsend, it looked like they had claimed a draw.

But Amond pounced in stoppage-time to win it for Newport and leave the U's disappointed.

Ball said: "I thought we were OK in the first half but we weren't really an attacking threat and we had to talk about that, at half-time.

"We didn't really get to grips in the first half with the possession side of it.

"But what I saw in the last half hour was more like us - quality on the ball, movement, pace, ball retention, shots and crosses.

"We made the changes which really worked and I thought we had loads of possession, chances and shots.

"I thought we were the better team in the last 20 minutes and they were camped in their half a little bit.

"But then we concede a really sloppy last-minute goal, which is really disappointing.

"We need to get better contact on the first one and then we need to pick up.

"With their first goal, Scott Twine has scored other goals like that and we couldn't have been clearer with our prep on it but we allowed him to shoot from 25 yards.

"We have to get back to the training pitch and address it."

Brown and Poku, who had been left on the bench at Newport, came on in the final half hour and made a big difference for Colchester.

Fellow substitute Josh Bohui also looked bright, something that pleased boss Ball.

Ball added: "The second they scored the goal, I wanted to make attacking changes and I did that.

"I thought Jevani (Brown), Kwame (Poku) and Josh (Bohui) all came on and did well.

"I thought they impacted the game in a really positive manner those changes."