SOUTHEND emerged victorious in a pre-season battle against their Essex neighbours.

The home team started well and, after a good run, Diogo Freitas-Gouveia found a trialist, whose curled effort from the left was held by the Southend keeper.

The early home ascendancy was rewarded when they took the lead.

A superb left-footed pass forward by centre-back Ben Steward picked out the run of Freitas-Gouvenia and he netted with a precise low, left-footed finish past the visiting keeper.

After home keeper Chandler Hallett made a good save, he was beaten just before the half-hour mark.

After some neat passing football, Southend then equalised with a drive from around 30 yards that went in via the underside of the bar.

However, it did not take the hosts long to take the lead again as, after an exchange of passes, Freitas-Gouveia made a good run in from the left.

From his low cross, a trialist put the chance away in the centre.

After another ball came in from the right to the centre, Hallett again did well, making a save to his left.

At half-time, the U’s led 2-1 but that was to change soon after the interval.

After overplaying at the back, Cornish was caught in possession and robbed by a Southend player.

He moved on and slid home a low shot down to the keeper’s left, to make it 2-2.

Colchester then retaliated with a good move.

Cornish and Miranda combined down the left and Freitas-Gouveia was sent away but from his cross, the ball was headed clear at the back post.

After Kennedy was caught in possession, Southend broke in on goal and, after a save by Hallett, a trialist took no chances and cleared for a corner.

It was from this that the away side scored again to take the lead.

This saw the delivery from the left, headed in at the back post.

Freitas-Gouveia was a threat down the left that saw his strike hit the far post and come out again.

However, in trying to control the ball, Miranda merely gave the keeper time to collect the ball.

From a left-wing corner, home keeper Hallett needed treatment after colliding with a Southend player.

However, after initially playing on for a while, the under-16s keeper had to be summoned up from his match.

What a brilliant 20 minutes it was for him.

Almost at once, he was in the action as the visitors were breaking in down the right and he made a very good block.

Then in again, he was out at the player quickly and got his body in the way.

After winning a goal-kick, the ball bounced back off the Southend player and went over the bar for a goal-kick.

It was then the visitors who went very close again as, despite good shepherding work out on the left by Steward, the cross was met by a powerful header towards goal, which the stand-in keeper superbly tipped over the bar.

A great pass sent Freitas-Gouveia clear but, after a great run down the left, he decided to lay the ball off to a team-mate.

However, there was nobody there to receive the pass, when a shot of his own would have been a better option.

The visitors were away again down the right, but were denied by another superb save by the U's keeper.