COLCHESTER United's under-23s kick off their new Premier League Cup campaign today.

Richard Hall's side travel to play Reading at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon (kick-off 3pm), as they begin another season in the competition.

The U's youngsters will also face Charlton Athletic and Swansea City home and away as part of the group stages, with the top two teams progressing through to the knockout stages.

It is the fourth successive season that Colchester have competed in the competition, as they attempt to progress through the group stages for the second time. 

Meanwhile Colchester's under-18s played out a 3-3 draw with Watford, in their latest Professional Development League Two match.

After several creditable displays this season, Liam Bailey's team travelled for one of their biggest tests of the season to date.

They went up to the Hertfordshire area to take on the Southern Division League leaders who had won six of their seven games this season.

The U's so nearly recorded a superb success but were to be denied late in the match.

It took just seven minutes for leading goalscorer Jake Hutchinson to put his side ahead.

But a quarter of an hour later and the home team were then back on level terms.

Hutchinson, who has been in superb form this season, then scored again to restore his side's lead.

He got on the end of a left-wing cross and after it was contested for in the box, scored with a shot on the turn.

But Watford came out strongly after the break and equalised again on 57 minutes.

However, just two minutes after that Marley Miranda-Marshall was the provider to set up Harvey Sayer to put Colchester 3-2 ahead.

It was a lead the U's held onto until the table toppers scored again right on full-time.

Watford's scorers were J J McKiernan, Max Thompson and Dom Hutchinson.

So the U’s had to settle for a point and will certainly go into next week’s derby at Ipswich Town in confident mood.