John McGreal admits Colchester United's last-gasp defeat at Notts County was tough to take after they conceded a late goal to lose 2-1 at Meadow Lane.

The U's looked on course for a hard-earned point against League Two's joint leaders after substitute Sanmi Odelusi cancelled out Shola Ameobi's penalty, in the final minute of normal time.

But Ryan Yates headed in County's winner in the third minute of stoppage-time to inflict a first defeat in seven league matches on Colchester, for whom Mikael Mandron had earlier had a penalty saved by keeper Ross Fitzsimons when County were leading 1-0.

McGreal said: "It's a tough one to take after the first-half performance and we knew that they would come at us in the second half.

"We had to weather the storm - we gave a silly penalty away, came back, got a penalty ourselves which wasn't a good one but then we kept going again and we've changed it around.

"We got a good equaliser and it was a good finish by Sanmi after coming on and then it's about seeing the game out, which we haven't been able to do.

"Our first-half performance was excellent but we had nothing to show for it.

"It looks like we knocked off again in the last minutes and that's the disappointing thing.

"But I thought the overall performance was outstanding, at times."