Colchester United U23s have been beaten 2-1 by Crewe Alexandra
The young U’s went behind just before the half hour mark, when Oliver Finney tapped home a low left wing cross.
It didn’t take long for the U’s to get back on level terms though, as Noah Chilvers whipped a shot into the bottom corner from just outside the box four minutes after the opener.
It looked a harsh decision on fifty three minutes to penalise Omar Sowunmi for handball, but the spot kick was awarded and Lewis Reilly sent Ethan Ross the wrong way to make it 2-1.
Kwame Poku hit the inside of the post, Michael Fernandes was denied by a fingertip save and Poku put another shot into the side netting.
The U’s couldn’t find a leveller though, and the points went up to the North West.
The early stages of the game saw the two teams, both consisting of a number of players with first team experience, exchange half chances.
Poku was denied by a save from a tight angled shot and Freddie Hinds had a shot blocked, whilst Ross saved from Reilly and then saw a Callum Ainley curler fly wide.
Just before the half hour mark, a dangerous run down the left resulted in a cross whipped low to the edge of the six yard box – Finney timed his run to perfection and had the easy task of sidefooting his shot into the net.
Within seconds, Hinds rounded Sam Booth in the away goal, but the keeper recovered in time to tip the ball away for a corner.
The U’s didn’t have to wait long for their next chance, and they made the most of it.
Four minutes after the opening goal, Noah Chilvers picked up a Dean Ager pass, and struck a great right foot shot into the bottom corner to level things up.
It almost got better for the U’s youngsters on the stroke of half time, but Hinds had a shot well saved by Booth and the teams went in for the break all square.
Cohan Bramall was replaced by Alamin Kazeem at the break, and the U’s were inches away from taking the lead four minutes in.
Poku cut inside onto his left foot, and was unlucky to see his curling effort hit the inside of the post and rebound across the line before being cleared by a defender.
The next goal came at the other end though, as the ball was flicked up in the air just inside the U’s box and Sowunmi was harshly adjudged to have handled it.
Reilly was the man to step up, and he calmly sent Ross the wrong way and the Railwaymen were 2-1 with fifty three minutes on the clock.
Ager was the next U’s player to go off, being replaced by Michael Fernandes three minutes later.
Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu got forward from his right back position, but his shot was deflected just wide just after the hour.
The U’s were looking dangerous at this stage, and Hasanally took a bit long at the far post when in space from a Poku corner, and the effort was blocked.
Poku was constantly in the action as the U’s hunted an equaliser, and he almost snuck in at the far post on seventy minutes, but could only find the side-netting as he stretched for the ball.
Hasanally was replaced with fourteen minutes remaining, Danny Collinge coming on as the U’s went to a three man defence to get more bodies further up the pitch.
On eighty minutes, it almost paid dividends, but Fernandes was denied by an acrobatic save to tip the shot over the bar.
The Crewe defence then kept the U’s at arms’ length as the final ten minutes and a couple for injury time ticked by, and went back up to the North West with the three points.
Next up for the U’s U23s is a trip to Yorkshire to take on Championship side Barnsley on Friday.