Colchester United suffered their first defeat of pre-season tonight when they were beaten 1-0 by Ipswich Town.

Joe Garner rose to plant a header past U’s keeper Sam Walker from Myles Kenlock’s accurate cross just before the hour mark to settle the contest, which was played out in front of a crowd of 3,752 at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

It was the first goal that Colchester have conceded in their build-up to the new League Two season, which gets underway at Accrington Stanley on August 5.

And it proved to be John McGreal’s side’s first friendly defeat, as they prepare for the new campaign.

Colchester’s starting line-up featured all three of their new outfield signings, Mikael Mandron, Cole Kpekawa and Ryan Jackson.

Sammie Szmodics volleyed over following Adam Webster’s error but only the woodwork prevented Ipswich from taking a 13th-minute lead when Cameron James’ headed goal-line clearance from Danny Rowe’s long-range attempted lob struck the underside of the crossbar and Conor McKendry headed the rebound straight into the arms of grateful Colchester keeper, Sam Walker.

But former Ipswich defender Tom Eastman was unlucky not to score midway through the first half when his close-range effort from a corner was cleared off the line by Adam McDonell.

But in truth the first half offered little in the way of goalmouth action or incident, with the contest played out at typical friendly pace as both sets of players ease their way into the new season.

As a result, the teams went in level at the break with little to choose between the sides but Ipswich made three substitutions at the break and it made an immediate impact.

Danny Rowe’s shot was deflected wide after on-loan Manchester City attacker Bersant Celina had run at the defence, in the opening minute of the second half.

And seconds later, substitute Celina’s right-foot effort was pushed away to his left by Colchester keeper Sam Walker.

The U’s eventually fell behind in the 57th minute when Joe Garner, who had come on as a half-time substitute, showed good strength in the area to powerfully head home Myles Kenlock’s cross from close range.

It was the first goal that Colchester had conceded in more than 500 pre-season minutes and soon after, U’s head coach John McGreal made a double substitution, sending on Denny Johnstone and Lewis Kinsella for Mandron and Kpekawa.

Sammie Szmodics came close to converting Kinsella’s cross which whistled dangerously across the face of goal with 20 minutes remaining and Denny Johnstone headed a corner wide at the far post, as Colchester looked for an equaliser.

Walker made a fine save at his near post to deny former U's striker Freddie Sears late on, as Ipswich claimed a narrow win.