Goals from Adam McDonnell and Ben Morris weren’t enough to see the Blues’ U23s to victory as Colchester ran out 3-2 winners at Playford Road.
All five goals came in a high-tempo first half which seen the U’s race into a two-goal lead before being pegged back with two Town goals. As half-time approached, though, the visitors scored what turned out to be the winner in a game which seen Paul Digby make his return to action following a knee injury.
The U’s took the lead with a quarter of an hour played with Tommy O’Sullivan scored with a wonderful free-kick that struck the underside of the bar on its way in.
It took less than ten minutes for the lead to be doubled with Femi Akinwande steering Stephen Dooley’s cut-back past Nick Hayes in the Town goal.
At a rainy Playford Road, McDonnell reduced the arrears with a low free-kick that was fired into the net via the inside of the post.
Morris first had an opportunity to level with a close range header that was well saved, before Akinwande nearly added to his earlier goal after breaking free of the Blues defence.
His initial effort struck the post, but as the ball came back to him he fired the rebound off the crossbar and Town cleared.
The equaliser did come for the Blues, though, with Shane McLoughlin releasing Morris with a superb cross-field pass, and the striker showed his composure to pull Town level with an excellent finish.
Just as the half looked to be coming to a close, Louis Dunne put the U’s in front as he collected Akinwande’s pass and slotted past Hayes from close range.
The second-half passed largely without incident but Town had a handful of efforts late on, with Morris firing two efforts just wide, but he couldn’t find an equaliser as Colchester took the points.
Town: Hayes, Woolfenden, Webber, Fowler, Digby, McDonnell, Blanchfield, Patterson, McKendry (Folami, 67), McLoughlin, Morris. Not Used: Wright, Salaudeen, Robinson.
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