12 March 2022

Wayne Brown admits Colchester ‘had to dig themselves out of a hole’

12 March 2022

Wayne Brown was left breathing a sigh of relief after admitting his Colchester players “dug themselves out of a hole” by coming from behind to win 3-1 at bottom club Scunthorpe.

The Iron had led 1-0 courtesy of Joe Nuttall’s early opener, but two bookings in six minutes for Luke Matheson saw them reduced to 10 men and the Us took advantage with Noah Chilvers, twice, and Owura Edwards scoring in the second half.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game but we didn’t help ourselves at times,” said interim boss Brown.

“Scunthorpe tried to be solid and frustrate us after having a man sent off, but we made a couple of changes and some of the things we’ve been working on on the training ground paid off.

“You talk about character and belief and the players have had to dig themselves out of a hole after not performing as well as they should have done in the first half.

“They showed a great deal of belief and enthusiasm and a bit of inspiration from Noah has changed the game.

“I’m sure Scunthorpe will be saying all sorts about the ref because they’re frustrated at losing the game of football, but there’ve been other occasions this season where we’ve had a different conversation about the ref because we haven’t got the rub of the green.

“It wasn’t about that today, the lads showed a great reaction in the second half and good spirit and desire got us back into the game.”

Scunthorpe were good value for their 11th-minute lead as Nuttall scored from close range but Matheson’s red card 10 minutes before half-time proved the turning point.

Chilvers fired home his first of the afternoon just after the hour mark following a run that began his own half, with Edwards completing the turnaround six minutes later after a one-two with Freddie Sears.

It was hard to see a way back for the hosts at that point and Chilvers made sure of the victory with a glancing header in the 76th minute.

Much of Iron boss Keith Hill’s post-match ire was indeed directed at referee Alan Young, who he felt missed a key moment in the build-up to Colchester’s equaliser.

“I accept the red card, for two yellow-card offences, but what I don’t accept or understand is the lack of a free-kick for us in Colchester’s opening goal,” he said.

“It’s as clear as day – there’s a handball, and the referee was actually told by the fourth official and ignored him.

“I don’t think the referee understands the dynamic of the game. He had a bad day at the office, I think, today.

“I feel sorry for my lads, and it’s not often I say that.

“I’m trying my best to disguise my emotions because I feel let down today by the referees’ association (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) with respect to the standard of refereeing I experienced today.”

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