Angry Colchester United manager John McGreal has blamed bad defending for his side’s FA Cup defeat against Chesterfield on Saturday.
Even though they play a division lower, McGreal was hoping Colchester could capitalise on the Spireites’ poor run of form in the First Round tie. But instead, much-publicised striker Ched Evans scored his first goal since August to earn Danny Wilson’s away team a 2-1 victory.
“You can’t allow someone like Ched Evans to be free in the box,” said the frustrated 44-year-old former Burnley, Ipswich Town and Tranmere Rovers defender.
“If you give Ched an opportunity from six or seven yards out, he’s not going to miss, with the quality he has.
“We keep supporting players, sticking up for them and trying to stay positive. But we now have to address it because we’re on the end of another defeat.”
In front of a tiny crowd of 1,840, the result was Colchester’s tenth match without a win, after suffering relegation to League Two last term, and heaped pressure on McGreal to revive his side’s fortunes.
“It’s got to stop sooner or later,” he said. “We need a win and to try our hardest to get it.
“We can’t always be hard done by, game after game. We have to be accountable.”
Chesterfield were themeselves ending a sequence of nine games with a victory. They had lost their previous six league matches without scoring a single goal.
Jay O’Shea ended the drought by giving them a first-half lead and athough the hosts levelled in the 46th minute, when on-loan substitute Tarique Fosu scored with his first touch, and they then hit the bar, Evans struck with the 50th minute winner with a superb volley -- his first goal since the middle of August.
“We huffed and puffed after that, and had a couple of efforts without really troubling them,” added McGreal.
“It could have gone either way and we had opportunities in the second half.
“But it was scrappy and we’re on the end of another defeat.”
Chesterfield are ball number 34 for the Second Round draw, which is being made live on TV tonight.