Tommy O’Sullivan bagged a brace as Colchester United’s under-23s started the new Professional Development League Two season with a 2-1 win.

O’Sullivan struck twice in the opening 19 minutes, as Wayne Brown’s side saw off their Birmingham City counterparts at the Weston Homes Community Stadium tonight.

And although Corey O’Keeffe’s halved the deficit just after the hour mark for the visitors, it was not enough for them to salvage anything from the game.

Colchester made the perfect start when they went ahead in the seventh minute.

After O’Sullivan had been fouled in the area, the former Cardiff City youngster dusted himself down to score from the penalty spot and give the U’s an early lead.

Birmingham keeper Simon Lefebvre foiled Tariq Issa soon after, before Colchester doubled their lead in the 19th minute.

After Frenchman Lefebvre had denied Eoin McKeown, midfielder O’Sullivan was on hand to convert his and the U’s second goal of the night.

Birmingham responded well to the setback of falling further behind, with Ronan Hale twice going close for the visitors.

But Lefebvre made another good save to deny Kane Vincent-Young who fired towards goal following an excellent solo run and McKeown also went close before the break, as Colchester went in at half-time in control.

Kyle McFarlane’s shot went just wide for Birmingham early in the second half while at the other end, Charley Edge’s free-kick just missed the target and O’Sullivan was denied a hat-trick by Lefebvre’s good stop.

Colchester keeper Dan Wilks denied Odin Bailey on the hour, before the visitors pulled a goal back just before the midway point in the second half through O’Keeffe’s excellent free-kick.

The Blues pushed hard for an equaliser after that and Ollie Kensdale made a good block to deny McFarlane.

But the U’s also threatened as the clock ticked down, with Lefebvre again in action to foil both McKeown and George Brown with 11 minutes remaining.

Courtney Senior continued his return from a long-term injury when he come on for McKeown late on, as Colchester's youngsters started with a win.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Wilks, Vincent-Young, Sturgess, Diaz Wright, Jefferies, Kensdale, Brown (sub Dunne, 82), Edge, McKeown (sub Senior, 86), O'Sullivan, Issa. Substitutes: Wilson, Phipps, Kurasik.