COLCHESTER United's under-18s were beaten 6-1 at Ipswich Town in their latest Professional Development League Two fixture, writes BRIAN WALLER.

On a thoroughly wet morning at Town's Rushmere training ground, the U's slipped to a very heavy defeat.

Town began brightly and Colchester keeper Chandler Hallett was forced to make several good saves, first blocking Liam Gibbs' shot at his near post with his foot and then making a save low down from Teddy Baker.

Matt Healy was denied by Hallett while at the other end, Diogo Freitas-Gouveia's free-kick sailed well wide for Colchester before Town took the lead after 23 minutes.

Lewis Reed slotted home a penalty after breaking down the left edge of the box and being fouled by Freitas-Gouveia.

Gibbs then had a goal ruled out for offside before his cross from the left resulted in Reed's header striking the keeper's right hand post.

The visitors then had their best chance of the half when Freitas-Gouveia broke clear and was denied by keeper Jake Alley who diverted the shot away for a corner.

However, the U's fell further behind just before half-time.

Another foul by Joseph Joseph was costly and from Healy's free kick, Reed made a run towards the near post to head the ball into the net.

Just after the hour mark Ipswich made it 3-0 when a ball in from the right saw Gibbs squeeze the ball in at the near post, possibly via the upright and the keeper's back.

And Reed superbly bent a free-kick round the wall to complete his hat-trick, with 20 minutes to go.

There were a couple chances for Hutchinson but the match then ended with a flurry of goals.

Town went 5-0 up when a pass inside the area found Harley Curtis who lifted his shot past Hallett as he went to ground.

And the hosts added a sixth soon after through Dylan Ruffles, who fired into the far corner of the net after a superb run down the right.

Colchester grabbed an injury-time consolation when Jake Hutchinson headed in Donell Thomas's cross but it was Town's day.

U's U18: Hallett, Joseph, Fouche, Terry (sub Akolbire), Freitas-Gouveia, Cornish, Marshall-Miranda, Thomas, Stagg (sub Tovide), Hutchinson, trialist (sub Sayer). Subs (not used): Collins, Parish.