COLCHESTER United head coach Steve Ball admitted his side were their own worst enemies following their 3-2 defeat at Carlisle United.

Goals from Lewis Alessandra and Jon Mellish had given the hosts a 2-0 lead inside the opening half hour.

But a brace from striker Luke Norris, making his first league start of the season, either side of half-time saw the U's recover a two-goal deficit at Brunton Park,

However, Aaron Hayden's goal with nine minutes remaining to secure all three points for Carlisle and condemn Colchester to their first league defeat of the season.

The defeat leaves Colchester 14th in the League Two table, after six matches.

Ball told BBC Essex: "It was a massive frustration in possession with continual turnovers again today.

"We have to start to nail this, because if we're going to play the way we're going to play we've got to trust ourselves to be better on the ball.

"A lot of Carlisle's attacks were off the back of our giveaways and it was so disappointing.

"Carlisle had a very aggressive press; we knew that it probably wouldn't last the whole game with that energy and I think it showed at the end of the first half.

"They certainly dipped and fair play to them for that aggressive press.

"But normally for us, that should be a real chance to bypass the press.

"We played too quickly and made some really bad decisions on the ball.

"I think Carlisle had 20 shots and I would say half of them are through our turnovers, which isn't good enough.

"I didn't see their shape as the issue - it was nothing to do with their shape.

"They've matched us up today and have gone from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 and they paid us that respect.

"I didn't see that hurting us; it was what we were doing on the ball."

Colchester had left themselves with a mountain to climb, after falling 2-0 down.

But Norris's double pulled it back for 2-2, only for Hayden to grab a late winner for Carlisle.

"Their first goal was a bit of a freak," added Ball.

"All I'll say on that is that we have to get tighter on the cross.

"But I was pleased with the end of the first half and I really fancied us at half-time.

"There was a lot of calmness and a lot of talk about keeping the ball better.

"At the start of the second half we did that and it was a really good move for the penalty.

"But then we had a spell for about 15 minutes when we kept giving the ball away and they kept getting corners and throws.

"It was incoming and that for me changed the dynamic of the game, albeit with us having a great chance to get a point at the very end there with Josh (Bohui) going through one on one.

"We have to learn by our mistakes and go back to the drawing board a bit, about just keeping the ball in better areas."

Colchester are back in action next Tuesday when they host Forest Green Rovers at the JobServe Community Stadium, in League Two.