COLCHESTER United under-18s suffered a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Sheffield United, writes BRIAN WALLER.

The U's were beaten in their latest Under-18 Professional Development League Two match, at Florence Park.

The U's fell behind after 12 minutes when Zak Brunt smacked an unstoppable 25-yard shot into the top corner past keeper Ted Collins.

Collins then denied Brunt and Sam Ackroyd soon after while Francis Maguire curled a left-foot effort just wide, as the Blades went in search of more goals.

Harrison Foulstone flew just over for the visitors and although the U's had a penalty appeal rejected when one of their trialists went down in the box, Sheffield United were on top.

Colchester fell further behind eight minutes after the break when Foulstone's high ball into the box saw Ackroyd get the better of home centre back Joseph Joseph and shoot home from close range.

Angelo Capello came close to a third for the visitors but Collins pushed his attempt away while at the other end, Diogo Freitas-Gouveia's free-kick was parried away by keeper Sam Kelly.

Back came the visitors though; Ackroyd break clear down the right and flashed a shot wide of the near post and from Capello’s low cross, Leo Gaxha was unable to get a touch to the ball across.

Colchester fell further behind after 65 minutes when Maguire slid a left-foot shot into the U’s net following Gaxha's cross from the right.

And the Blades wrapped up their victory with a minute of normal time remaining through William Osula, who beat Collins down to the left on the turn after Brunt had won possession and picked him out.

U's U18: Collins, Akolbire (sub trialist C, 80), Kane, Joseph, Terry, Cornish, Miranda (sub Tovide, 71), Trialist A, Trialist B (sub Thomas, 59), Freitas-Gouveia, Hutchinson. Subs (not used): Hallett, Asare-Williams.