HARRY Pell returned from injury as Colchester United's under-23s lost 3-1 at leaders Watford in their latest Professional Development League Two match, writes BRIAN WALLER.

Pell, who has been sidelined with an Achilles injury, made his first appearance since the opening day of the season, playing for an hour as the U's youngsters were beaten at Clarence Park, home of St Albans City FC.

Colchester head coach John McGreal said: "Harry got through a good hour.

"He had no ill effects after that, which is great news."

Watford, watched by first-team striker Troy Deeney, went into the game top of the table with six wins and two draws in their ten games to date this season.

But it was bottom-placed Colchester who took a deserved lead with a headed goal from Freddie Hinds after 12 minutes.

However, Watford equalised nine minutes before half-time when Matt Weaire put through his own net.

There was very little that he could do to avoid the ball as Joseph Hungbo's dangerous cross bounced up awkwardly and rebounded into the net off him.

The U’s then held out until half-time and the teams went into the break on level terms at 1-1.

Approaching the last quarter of an hour, the hosts got their noses in front for the first time in the match.

Sam Dalby was target from the penalty spot as U's goalkeeper Bailey Vose was beaten to his left.

And the Hornets sealed their win with four minutes remaining when a trialist got onto Hungbo's' pass and netted.

U's under-23: Vose, Scarlett, Weaire, Collinge, Ige, James, Pell, Dunne, Campbell-Ryce, Hinds, Sims. Subs: Anderson, Ager, Fernandes, Coulter.