COLCHESTER United's under-18s progressed to the second round of the FA Youth Cup with a 2-1 win at Northampton Town, writes BRIAN WALLER.

The hosts had the better of the early play in front of a crowd of nearly 500, at Sixfields.

But Liam Bailey's side carved out two great chances in a minute, midway through the first half.

Some good work nearly created an opening in the box but fine play by Hadyn Price saw him make the challenge on Andre Hasanally before he could get his shot away.

And almost immediately afterwards, Jake Hutchinson's header hit the bar from a right-wing cross.

On the half hour mark, there was another Colchester opportunity when Diogo Freitas-Gouveia, stretching on the back post, could only send his effort over the crossbar following Sam Cornish's dangerous ball in.

As the game approached half-time, Hutchinson's volley from Cornish's corner went just over the bar as the first half finished goal-less.

Northampton came close to scoring early in the second half when Ethan Johnston got in behind the U’s defence following Caleb Chukmewenka's very good pass but was pulled up for offside.

Colchester broke the deadlock just before the hour mark when Diogo Freitas-Gouveia got into the area and slid the ball into the net from a tight angle.

The U's went close again four minutes later through Cornish, who saw his attempt from the edge of the area deflected away for a corner.

Colchester had another good chance midway through the half when Freitas-Gouveia fired over the bar. But as the away team started to get well on top, they went 2-0 ahead with 20 minutes remaining when from a Freitas-Gouveia cross, Jake Hutchinson scored from close range.

Northampton kept pushing and Donell Thomas's good footwork saw him create the space for a shot for himself which was deflected away for a corner.

The hosts eventually pulled a goal back close to full-time when Michael Harding converted a cross from close range.

But there were to be no more goals and the U’s held on for a good win.

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