Colchester United head coach John McGreal on Stevenage draw

COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal admits his side were not clinical in front of goal after they were held to 0-0 draw by ten-man Stevenage this afternoon.

The U's created a hatful of chances and dominated the possession against a home side that played for more than 70 minutes with only ten men, following Tom Soares' red card in the 19th minute.

The Stevenage man was dismissed for a foul on Luke Gambin but despite creating numerous chances, Colchester were unable to make the vital breakthrough.

They were left frustrated by a combination of missed opportunities and the heroics of Stevenage goalkeeper Paul Farman, who was outstanding and pulled off countless saves from the likes of Callum Harriott, Luke Norris, Frank Nouble and Harry Pell.

It was Colchester's third straight draw and saw them drop out of the top seven, even though they have now gone 11 league games unbeaten.

McGreal said: “We should be scoring goals – it’s as simple as that.

“It’s one where we’ve hit the woodwork three or four times and their keeper was outstanding – he was very, very good.

“Even things that weren’t even in his control tended to ricochet for him, too.

“We got into really good areas to get on the end of things but just missed it.

“We had 50-odd per cent of shots on target from our shots on goal and we should be scoring goals.

“From where we’ve worked from to get us in this position now, we have to work even harder.

“It’s got us so far but we have to work harder and we should be winning a game of football.

“If we want to go further from where we’ve got to, you have to then improve on these skills – there’s no question of it.

“We’re getting the bodies into the areas we need – it’s just then a case of the individual going as cold as ice or taking a little bit more time to slot the ball in.

"We set up to use the width; we knew that if we went through the middle, they'd soak that up.

"It was no surprise that when we did play the ball out wide, we created one for ones and two for ones, we got into great areas where we should be scoring."

Colchester played against ten men for much of the match after Soares dismissal and McGreal added: "Speaking with the linesman and the fourth official, it's one where it did look as if it was high."