Dominic Smith bagged a hat-trick as a young Colchester United side beat Southend United 6-4 in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

The U's found themselves 3-0 down at half-time against the Shrimpers, who also fielded a number of youngsters.

But three goals from under-21 striker Smith, along with further strikes from Alex Gilbey, Macauley Bonne and Jack Curtis, helped Colchester turn things around in the second half.

Colchester, who were managed by Karl Duguid, featured Gilbey, Marcus Bean, Dan Holman and Josh Thompson, who all got valuable minutes on the pitch following injury.

U's boss Joe Dunne said: “We struggled a bit in the first half and found ourselves 3-0 down at half-time.

“But the reaction in the second half was excellent and it turned out to be an entertaining game.

“A lot of young players took part and it was a good experience for them.

"And it was important that a number of players got some valuable minutes on the pitch."

For all of the latest Colchester United news, see the Daily Gazette.