Colchester United's U23s have lost 4-1 against league leaders Watford
Despite a very good first half display from the U’s, they were well beaten by the more experienced Premier League side.
Ben Allen opened the scoring for the U’s, but the visitors responded to lead 2-1 at the break.
Two further Watford goals took the game away from the U’s in the second period, who have another game later this week in the Premier League Cup.
The U’s began the match well, but Matt Weaire’s header from an Andre Hasanally free-kick went over the crossbar.
There was an appeal for a penalty for the U’s when Hasanally, pictured making his first team debut, looked like he was pushed but the referee pointed for a corner rather than a spot kick.
U’s keeper Callum Coulter saved from Sam Dalby in the visitors’ first attack, but minutes later the U’s took the lead.
Good work by Ager down the right saw Jamie Vila lay the ball off for Ben Allen to score from close range in the fourteenth minute.
The U’s weren’t ahead for long though, with Billy Cracknell getting the final touch on a low cross and putting into his own net.
The cross had come from Success, who has played numerous times for the Watford first team, and he then shot wide when well placed for the Hornets.
Another purposeful U’s attack saw Cracknell, Sim and Ager combine, before the latter was fouled on the right edge of the box.
The resulting free kick by Harvey Sayer beat the wall but keeper Pontus Dahlberg saved well diving to his right.
It was to be a very good spell for the hosts who were unlucky not to take the lead again as Ager was denied by a great save.
It was the Hornets that took the lead next though, when Success’ cross in from the left took a deflection off a U’s defender that allowed Joseph Hungbo to nip in ahead of Coulter and score with an angled shot.
The goal came on forty one minutes, and the score remained 2-1 to Watford going into the break.
Early in the second half, Watford gave themselves so breathing space with a third goal. Cameron Green was allowed to make a run down the left, and from his cross, Sam Dalby glanced his header in to make it 3-1 on forty nine minutes.
The two sides exchanged chances during the middle part of the half, but the U’s couldn’t find a way back into the game with a second goal.
And with seven minutes left, Watford scored a fourth when Ryan Cassidy drilled home to make the final score 4-1.