FORMER Braintree Town striker Sean Marks hit four goals as Colchester United's under-23s were beaten 6-3 in their final friendly of the summer, writes BRIAN WALLER.

A young U's side featuring the likes of Louis Dunne, Ryan Clampin and Danny Collinge lost out to their BetVictor Isthmian League division one north opponents, in a high-scoring contest.

The Colchester under-23 squad are currently on the lookout for a permanent manager, following Kevin Horlock's departure to Needham Market earlier this summer and were led by under-18 boss Liam Bailey.

The U's began the match well as they created several early chances.

After Sudbury player Adam Bailey-Dennis got in a bit of a muddle in his own box in trying to make a tackle, Jake Hutchinson tried to capitalise but his shot was deflected over the bar and Collinge headed well wide from the resultant corner.

Hutchinson headed wide while at the other end, U's keeper Callum Coulter denied Ben Hunter from the edge of the box before the hosts took the lead after 11 minutes.

Collinge lost out to Reece Harris as he tried to take the ball out from his own area and although Coulter denied Marks' first attempt, the experienced striker then put away the rebound from close range.

Kwame Poku fired just wide after a fine solo run, before Marks grabbed his second of the game to make it 2-0 after 17 minutes.

Colchester continued to carve out chances, with Ollie Sims going close along with their attacking trialist.

But they fell further behind 11 minutes before the break when Marks completed his hat-trick, converting from Holland's assist.

Home keeper Walker denied Hutchinson and Sims but Coulter foiled Tom Maycock at the other end, as the U's went in trailing 3-0 at half-time.

Clampin drove narrowly wide for Colchester early in the second half, before the visitors pulled a goal back on 58 minutes through one of their trialists.

But the U's joy was short-lived as Marks restored Sudbury's three-goal lead a minute later, heading home before being replaced soon after.

Two goals in the space of as many minutes then got the U's back into the game, midway through the second half.

Poku made it 4-2 with a low shot just inside the post, before Dunne netted with a superb 25-yard free-kick which sailed over the wall and dipped just under the bar.

But any hope of a remarkable U's comeback were dashed after Sudbury then scored twice in three minutes.

With ten minutes remaining, substitute Freddie King netted from close range after Colchester failed to clear a corner.

And three minutes later, King created Sudbury's sixth and final goal.

His great burst forward set up Panashe Mudawarara to smack home a sixth into the top corner, from the angle of the box.

Colchester's under-23s begin their Professional Development League Two campaign next Monday when they host Wigan Athletic at Florence Park, kick-off 1pm.

U's under-23: Coulter, Ige, Collinge, Weaire, Clampin, Sims, Dunne, Anderson, Poku, Hutchhinson, trialist. Substitutes: Kiangebeni, trialists (x3), Collins.