Colchester United's U23s fell to defeat against Crewe Alexandra on Monday afternoon at Florence Park.
A goal in each half was enough to send the U's to defeat, with the clinching goal coming from the penalty spot with virtually the last kick of the game.
However, the game did see Doug Loft play the full ninety minutes as he returned from injury.
The first half saw Crewe hit the woodweork twice, but it was a goal from Lewis Reilly that broke the deadlock to send the Alex into half time in front.
The U's attempted to get back into the game in the second half on a freezing cold afternoon at Florence Park, but the visitors sealed the win late in the day, as Josh Lundstram tucked home a penalty past Dom Kurasik.