Colchester United have beaten Gillingham 5-1 in their last pre-season fixture ahead of next weekend's league opener.
The first half saw the U's dominate, scoring three times through Sammie Szmodics, Aaron Collins and Mikael Mandron.
Mark Byrne was sent off for an elbow and kick at Tom Lapslie, but that wasn't the end of the action before half time.
Mandron struck a beauty, before Tom Eastman added a fifth to make it an excellent afternoon's work for the U's.
At the start, it was the U’s who were dominating possession but the visitors who had the first sight on goal.
In the fourth minute, Max Ehmer had made his way into the box, but completely miskicked his shot at the near post from a right wing cross.
Seconds later, it was 1-0 to the U’s.
Mikael Mandron picked up possession in the centre of the pitch, before clipping a pass out to the right for Aaron Collins.
Mandron then made his way to the far post to get onto the cross, and found Sammie Szmodics making his way into the area.
Szmodics calmly slotted his shot past Holy to give the U’s the lead.
He almost doubled the lead four minutes later, but his lobbed effort went narrowly over the bar with Holy scrambling backwards.
On fourteen minutes, the lead was doubled and it was the attacking trio, Mandron, Szmodiccs and Collins all involved again.
Mandron beat Zakuani and found Szmodics running goalwards. With just the keeper to beat, Szmodics unselfishly squared it for Collins, who sidefooted it into the empty net.
The visitors did have a couple of half chances in the following minutes, but the U’s got a third just before the half hour mark.
Brandon Comley found Aaron Collins, who in turn threaded a ball through to Mandron.
The U's striker had to keep his feet after an attempted trip by a Gills defender, and then calmly slotted his shot past the advancing Holy.
An ugly incident on thirty nine minutes saw Byrne get his marching orders for an elbow and a kick at U’s midfielder Tom Lapslie.
That wasn’t the final action of the half, as ten man Gillingham got a goal back in the last minute.
Parrett took a corner on the left, the ball found its way back to him, and he cut inside and rifled a shot into the near post to make it 3-1 at the break.
Half a dozen U’s changes came at the break, with Jackson, Barnes, Wright, Kensdale, Gondoh and Clampin entering the fray.
The visitors tried to get back in to the game, but their chances were once again only half chances, and the U’s increased the lead on fifty six minutes.
Gondoh’s shot was blocked on the edge of the box, Mandron won back possession and hit an unstoppable effort past Holy to make it 4-1.
And four became five just after the hour mark, when Tom Eastman headed home at the far post from a Collins’ cross.
Pell, Senior and Nouble were then introduced, and it was the U’s who looked the most threatening in the final stage of the game.
They couldn’t trouble the scorers any further, but it was an impressive performance seven days before the league campaign starts with the trip to Notts County.
Photo provided by Kent Pro Images.