Colchester United got their pre-season programme off to a winning start this afternoon following a comfortable victory at Maldon and Tiptree.

John McGreal's side ran out 4-1 winners over their Bostik League division north opponents at Park Drive, in their first friendly of the summer.

Luke Prosser, Sammie Szmodics, Aaron Collins and Mikael Mandron were all on target for Colchester.

Colchester fielded summer signings Harry Pell, Frank Nouble and Aaron Collins while new goalkeepers Ethan Ross and Bailey Vose played 45 minutes each for Maldon as did Noah Chesmain, who arrived from Millwall ahead of the new season.

Striker Luke Norris, who joined the U’s from Swindon Town last month, did not feature because of a slight shoulder issue, carried over from last season.

Youngsters Ryan Clampin, Diaz Wright, Paul Rooney and Decarey Sheriff all got the chance to shine for the U’s, while fellow Colchester under-23 players Will Wright, Ollie Kensdale, Sam Warde and Tariq Issa featured for Maldon, along with ex-Spurs and Southampton striker Lee Barnard.

Wayne Brown, who was appointed as Maldon’s new manager earlier this summer, is still finalising his squad for the new season as in the process of bringing new players in.

Collins forced a good save from Ross earlier on and Sammie Szmodics blazed over from just inside the area, as Colchester set the early pace.

The U’s took a 12th-minute lead through skipper Luke Prosser, whose firm downward header from Collins’ corner beat keeper Ross.

And it was 2-0 less than three minutes later when Szmodics tapped home low from close range, after Collins had broken down the left flank and crossed.

Wright curled a shot just wide midway through the first half for the visitors before Collins slotted home from the spot in the 27th minute to make it 3-0, after he had been brought down by Themis Cafelas in the box.

But Maldon pulled a goal back on the half hour mark through Warde, who curled a superb free-kick home from 25 yards.

Ross denied Collins who was sent through on goal by Szmodics and Nouble was also foiled by the Maldon keeper from close range, six minutes before the break.

Both sides fielded completely different teams in the second half and Vose was forced to make an excellent save in the opening stages after half-time, tipping over Mandron’s header from Pell’s cross.

But Colchester extended their lead on the hour through Mikael Mandron, who tapped home from close range after Vose had denied Sheriff from close range.

Sheriff's header came back off the woodwork with 15 minutes remaining following Ryan Gondoh's cross, as the U's looked to increase their advantage.

Vose denied Brennan Dickenson with his legs late on, as the U's claimed a convincing friendly win.

COLCHESTER UNITED: First half: Barnes, Jackson, Clampin, Prosser, Kent, Lapslie, Senior, D Wright, Nouble, Szmodics, Collins.

Second half: Gilmartin, James, Barnes, Comley, Rooney, Eastman, Gondoh, Pell (sub D Wright, 78), Mandron, Sheriff, Dickenson.