Sammie Szmodics admits he thought he had helped Colchester United take their Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa into extra-time with a late wonder strike - only to be denied by a magnificent save.

The U's attacker let fly with a super long-range effort as the clock ticked down in the first-round tie, with Villa leading 2-1.

But he saw his shot brilliantly turned away by Villa keeper Jed Steer, who ensured the Championship side progressed at the expense of Colchester.

Szmodics: "I had a friend who was sitting in the South Stand and he said it took a deflection which had been taking it even more into the top corner.

"Looking at it through a crowd of players, it was heading in and that would have been perfect but the keeper clawed it out.

"It was a fantastic save and I don't know how he kept it out!"

Colchester had fallen 2-0 down inside 19 minutes at a drenched Weston Homes Community Stadium, following Scott Hogan's strike and Frankie Kent's own goal, while Mikael Mandron's early penalty was saved by Steer.

But Kent scored at the right end before half-time and the U's pushed Villa all the way in the second half, before eventually bowing out of the competition.

"We have to take the positives out of everything," added Szmodics.

"I feel like we have to be more ruthless in both boxes and that's including myself.

"I should have had two goals in the first half and the keeper pulled out a worldy in the second half.

"All round, we felt it was a good day for us even though we lost.

"We look forward to Saturday now because if we play like that, we'll get the three points."