Eoin McKeown bagged a first-half hat-trick as Colchester United's under-18s hammered QPR 8-1 at Florence Park.

Rangers had already conceded nine goals in a match twice this season and this time it was the U's turn to dish out a thrashing to the West London side.

Colchester set the stall out early with McKeown having a shot deflected out of play and Jamie Stephens heading the resulting corner wide of the far post.

Rangers then had their only real decent spell of the match.

Bowler saw a great block by Stephens before U’s goalkeeper Danny Boness denied Bowler and then Romeo Akinola.

McKeown opened the scoring in the 15th minute when he beat two players and shot low to the keeper’s right.

He then saw another effort smack into the post.

But poor play by the QPR keeper gifted Colchester a second goal.

His ball out to Clarke put him under pressure, he was robbed by Louis Dunne, who took his chance to make it 2-0 in the 17th minute.

Dunne then hit the woodwork from a Tariq Issa free-kick Issa made it 3-0 in the 31st minute when he bent a left-footed free-kick into the net from 25 yards.

Two more goals from McKeown gave Colchester a 5-0 lead at half-time and secured the player a first half hat-trick.

His second goal was well-taken in the 44th minute and he cut in from the right again a minute later to ensure he would leave with the match ball.

QPR again began the half well but then U’s went on the offensive again as they capitalised on some poor defending by the visitors.

Stephens was denied by the visiting keeper and although he got a hand on Decarrey Sherriff ’s 64th-minute shot, he was unable to keep it out of the goal.

Josh Bowler scored QPR’s consolation goal from the penalty spot in the 78th minute after a foul on substitute Michael Klass.

But McKeown made it 7-1 in the 83rd minute with a header that, although cleared by a defender, was deemed to have crossed the line by the referee’s assistant.

Sheriff completed his brace three minutes later when he beat the keeper at his near post following Claudio Ofusu’s cross from the left.

Colchester: Boness, Keys, Stephens, Tennent, Debrick, Dunne, Wright, Issa, McKeown, Sheriff, Brown. Used subs: Syrett, Kensdale & Ofusu. Unused subs: Robinson & Cosgrave.