Colchester United's U23s have been beaten 4-1 by Cystal Palacein their latest Professional Development League fixture here at the JobServe Community Stadium.
Gio McGregor put the Eagles ahead on nineteen minutes with a well taken finish from the edge of the box, and the score stayed 1-0 going into half-time.
Devante Aransabia got an equaliser for the young U’s a few minutes into the second half, but goals from Rob Street, McGregor and Sam Woods gave Palace a comfortable 4-1 win.
The game started with both teams creating a good chance each, Noah Chilvers hitting the post for the U’s and Ryan Clampin making a block when a Palace goal looked certain at the other end.
That Palace chance came on thirteen minutes, but they were ahead six later, when McGregor picked a spot from the edge of the box and scored past Dillon Barnes in the U’s goal.
Although the U’s pressed hard for an early equaliser, it was Palace that had the best couple of chances in the remainder of the first half.
First, Barnes had to get down sharply to stop a curling shot from Levi Lumeka, and then Kian Flanagan hit the post before having his rebound effort superbly headed away by Chris Forino.
The score stayed at 1-0 to Palace going into half-time, and it was the U’s who took the initiative when the teams came out for the second half.
On fifty one minutes, Joe Tupper made a great save for the visitors, giving away a corner, and the U’s scored the leveller when Aransabia rose highest and headed home.
Five minutes later, they almost took the lead when Chilvers made a determined run forward, but he couldn’t beat Tupper with his effort from the edge of the box.
The visitors responded to the good start the U’s had made in the second period, and took the game away from their opponents with three goals in the space of sixteen minutes.
In the sixty fifth minute, Street got forward, rounded Barnes and found the back of the net with his shot from an acute angle.
McGregor then got his second of the night when he beat Barnes with a well-placed free kick, and Woods settled things when he scored Palace’s fourth on eighty one minutes.
It could have been worse for the U’s, but Barnes pulled out a fantastic save to deny Lumeka what would have been a stunning goal.
That save kept the score at 4-1 to Palace, and that’s how it stayed for the remaining few minutes.