Colchester United's under-23s boosted their chances of Premier League Cup progression following an impressive 2-1 win over their Manchester City counterparts at the Weston Homes Community Stadium tonight.

Wayne Brown's development side ran out winners in the Group C game, thanks to two goals in the space of seven first-half minutes from Matt Briggs and Dexter Peter with Paolo Fernandes' strike proving only a consolation for the visitors.

Colchester made a rapid start, with much of the opening stages played out in the City half.

Charley Edge fired a powerful shot straight at keeper Kjetil Haug from the edge of the area in the ninth minute, after Briggs’ good play had led to the chance.

And more good play by the impressive Edge led to Tariq Issa’s shot deflecting off a defender before sailing away for a corner, two minutes later.

Colchester went ahead in the 12th minute through Briggs, who found space on the edge of the area to fire past City keeper Kjetil Haug from Edge’s corner.

Not content with merely a one-goal lead, the U’s immediately went in search of a second goal.

Issa’s shot was parried away by Haug, after Edge’s quick free-kick had picked him out.

And Colchester doubled their advantage in the 18th minute when Peter slammed a shot into the roof of the net after George Brown had done superbly down the right to pick him out.

The U’s were excellent in the opening half hour, first to the ball and showing great hunger and drive than their visitors.

But City began to slowly warm to the task after that.

Denzeil Boadu was denied by keeper Rhys Williams’ smart parry after Fernandes’ pass had split the U’s defence and picked him out, before Joe Hardy’s close-range effort was deflected just over after a lightening quick City counter-attack.

City eventually reduced the deficit on the half hour through the skilful Fernandes, who slammed home at the third attempt after his first two efforts had clattered the bar and been blocked on the line.

Buoyed by the goal, the visitors got into their stride more after that and dominated possession in the minutes that preceded half-time although Colchester felt they should have had a penalty just before the break when Brendan Ocran fell in the box but was instead booked for simulation.

Colchester made a half-time change, sending on Femi Akinwande for Bonne but it was City who looked more menacing.

Boadu bundled over from close range in the opening stages of the second half while left-back Charlie Oliver curled a fine shot inches wide just after the hour, as the visitors pressed.

But Peter headed over from Brown's inswinging free-kick with 11 minutes remaining for the U's and Brown fired straight at Haug in the closing stages but a one-goal margin proved enough for the U's for victory.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Williams, Ocran, Briggs (sub Wilson, 90), Diaz Wright, Peter, James, Brown, Edge, Bonne (sub Akinwande, 46), Issa, Dunne.

Substitutes (not used): McKeown, Pollard, Phillips.