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League One

Joe Dunne salutes Colchester United character

22 March 2014

Colchester United boss Joe Dunne saluted his side's character after they fought back to salvage a 2-2 draw with Bristol City.

Two goals in five second-half minutes helped the U's come back from 2-0 down to secure a point.

Martin Patterson and Scott Wagstaff had given the Robins a two-goal lead. But strikes from Gavin Massey and substitute Freddie Sears rescued a point for the U's.

Dunne said: "I'm very proud of the players. I'm pleased for them because it's a fantastic result in the circumstances.

"I thought the performance was good as well and we were unlucky to be 2-0 down. It was a very close game and there wasn't too much in it.

"We conceded a sloppy goal in the first 15 minutes and it was a difficult game after that.

"But we showed great character to stay in the game and we talked at half-time about how we wanted to go out and play.

"I thought in the second half we started okay - we were doing the attacking and their goal came against the run of play.

"But what tremendous character to come back and in the end, I thought there was only team that was going to win it.

"When we equalised we never sat back and we pushed and pushed and never stopped."

Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill said: "I've said from the first minute I walked through the door that we need to be more ruthless.

"We could easily have been 3-0 up at half-time, but we've failed to take enough of our chances.

"That is something we need to do better and, had we done that, we would have been out of sight and the game would have been over.

"I don't think we were at our best for the whole game and we got ourselves 2-0 up without really playing well.

"We were not sharp, but we've scored two goals and looked comfortable with 20 minutes to go.

"All of a sudden, we've got deeper and deeper and they have thrown caution to the wind.

"We've got an away point and extended our unbeaten run to five games, but we are all disappointed because of the way the game went.

"It's a great strike (by Sears) but we have allowed him too much time and space."

Bristol City took an eighth-minute lead through Paterson, who fired in after Emmanuel-Thomas had raced into the box.

City goalkeeper Frank Fielding foiled Alex Gilbey but Wagstaff made it 2-0 three minutes after half-time from close range after Sam Walker had fumbled Brendan Moloney's low cross.

Fielding thwarted Sears before Massey reduced the deficit with 17 minutes remaining when he bundled in Sears' assist.

And five minutes later, Sears lashed home a superb long-range shot to earn a dramatic draw for Colchester.

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