Dunne: Problems self-inflicted

Colchester manager Joe Dunne felt his side had thrown away three points in their 2-1 home defeat to relegation rivals Tranmere.

Ryan Lowe pounced to grab Rovers' crucial winner just after the hour-mark after Freddie Sears had cancelled out Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro's opener.

It was a huge result for Tranmere, who are hovering just above the relegation zone, and gave their survival hopes a major boost, while Dunne's side remain in deep trouble.

"We lost a match we should have won," said a dejected Dunne.

"The players were really up for it and people could see that.

"We should have been three-up, but continue to cause problems for ourselves.

"Our problems are self-inflicted.

"We're running out of games and in very serious trouble.

"We're down and being stamped on, but we haven't been relegated yet.

"There are still lots of points left to play for and a couple of wins would still do it.

"Our character has to come through and we have to keep going.

"We haven't dropped into the bottom four just yet and we have to keep fighting.

"We're in a rut and it's down to us to get out of it.

"Most teams we face will see us as an easy three points, because of the run we're on.

"We need something dramatic to happen and we need a spark."

Tranmere took the lead nine minutes before the break with a goal against the run of play.

Colchester were caught in possession and Max Power fed dangerous wide man Akpa Akpro, who burst forward before slotting past goalkeeper Sam Walker.

It was hard luck on the U's, who had dominating proceedings prior to the setback.

Owain Fon Williams made great saves from Jabo Ibehre and Alex Gilbey, but there was nothing he could do to keep out Sears' leveller.

Dominic Vose fed Ryan Dickson, who squared from the left, and Sears nipped in to turn the ball home from close range.

The goal should have lifted Colchester, coming seconds before the break, but it was Tranmere who scored the only goal of the second half.

Akpa Akpro beat right-back Gavin Massey, before delivering a low cross that was turned in by Lowe.