Colchester United ran out convincing 4-1 winners at Conference Premier side Braintree Town this afternoon, in their latest pre-season friendly.

Joe Dunne’s side were firmly in control in the first half and went ahead early on through Andy Bond, who hooked the ball over his shoulder and into the net after the Braintree keeper was unable to clear.

And Marcus Bean doubled the U’s lead after eight minutes with a long-range effort that the keeper could only parry into the net.

Colchester went 3-0 up before half-time when Freddie Ladapo cut in across the byline and the ball could only be bundled in by a Braintree defender.

Braintree pulled a goal back on the hour mark when Sean Marks headed in from close range, after captain Kenny Davis had pulled the ball back from the byline.

But substitute Ryan Melaugh rounded off Colchester’s convincing win late on when he calmly sidefooted home, to continue the U’s encouraging pre-season.

Colchester United: Cousins, Spence (sub Melaugh), Thompson (sub Eastman), Okuonghae, Dickson, Izzet (sub Hubble), Bean, Bond, Ladapo (sub Simmons), Morrison (sub Nwachuku), Massey (sub Sanderson).