U’S BOSS: ‘WE WERE SCARED’
COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal admitted his side bowed to fear after they were humbled by Non-League side Oxford City in the FA Cup.
Matt Paterson’s well-taken strike just after half-time proved crucial as the National League South strugglers progressed to the second round for only the second time in their history, at their League Two opponents’ expense.
The U’s suffered the embarrassment of going down as one of the round’s major scalps and McGreal was perturbed by what he saw from his troops.
“We didn’t show the calmness and there was a little bit of fear about losing to a nonleague team, and that has come true, as we’ve been knocked out,” said the Colchester chief.
“It was a hugely disappointing afternoon for us.
“We prepped as we usually would, with players that we were looking to try and score goals, but you just look at some of the decisions in and around their attacking third – we were snatching at things but I’m going to take nothing away from Oxford City
“I thought they were excellent and deserved to go through.
“They came and defended resolutely and they looked a potent threat in attack.”
City manager Mark Jones said his players had written themselves in their club’s folklore.
Jones said: “I’m just delighted for the players – we have struggled a bit so far this season but it is just a fantastic day for us.
“These players have put their name down in the history of the club.
“You can’t praise the players enough and it’s nice to see the people from Oxford come and support us.
“I think the odds on us being in the second round – and not Oxford United – for the draw would have been extremely high.”
Kyel Reid’s thunderbolt flew inches over for Colchester early on while midway through the first half, Tom Eastman’s header hit the bar after Mikael Mandron had headed on a Reid corner.
But City came just as close two minutes later when Paterson’s excellent free-kick from the edge of the area rattled the woodwork.
Mandron blasted wastefully over for Colchester soon after but the visitors almost took the lead just before half-time when Paterson curled wide at the second attempt, after Frankie Kent had blocked his first effort in the area.
City took a shock lead barely 30 seconds after the restart when Paterson finished smartly from close range after Dave Pearce’s cross had picked him out.
Colchester dominated possession after that, with Reid’s deflected free-kick whistling just wide, keeper Jack Stevens pushing away substitute Craig Slater’s low effort, and Lewis Kinsella also going close.
But it was well and truly City’s day.
SCALPED: Oxford City’s Mamadou Fofana heads the ball away against Colchester while, inset, Matt Paterson is mobbed after netting the winner STAR MAN MATT PATERSON Oxford City