Colchester United 2 Accrington Stanley 1

Last updated : 13 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Colchester United booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in 14 years following an action-packed encounter against Accrington Stanley.

A brace of goals from Joe Keith, one in each half, proved too much for the non-league visitors, who responded with an 89th minute header from Paul Mullin.

But that told only half the story. Accrington manager John Coleman was involved in a fracas with one of the stewards in the tunnel at half time, and that brought in the police.

Coleman was spoken to by the police at the start of the second period and was banished to the main stand by the referee for the remainder of the match.

There was another incident midway through the second half when Accrington's assistant manager Jimmy Bell had a confrontation with U's boss Phil Parkinson in front of the dug-outs after home striker Scott McGleish had been fouled by Paul Howarth and play had been allowed to continue.

A combination of stewards and the police managed to calm down that situation.

Of the first incident Coleman said: "It was amazing really. I just tried to follow the referee and linesman down the tunnel when I was pushed back by a steward, and when I tried again, I was elbowed in the face." On the pitch, Colchester took the lead in an enthralling match after 11 minutes when Keith stabbed home at the far post following a cross by Craig Fagan.

Keith seemed to have made the game safe when he smashed home an unstoppable shot from the narrowest of angles with six minutes remaining.

However, there was still time for big man Mullin to nod home substitute Dean Calcutt's cross to set up a nerve-wracking finale.

Accrington certainly put up a brave show, and they could count themselves unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty earlier in the game when U's keeper Simon Brown appeared to clip the heels of striker Lutel James.

However, it is Colchester who are through to the fourth round for the first time since the 1988-89 season, when they travel to Coventry City a week on Saturday.