COLCHESTER United's under-18s saw off Southend United 2-1 in a friendly, writes BRIAN WALLER.

The U's, who featured several trialists, fell behind after just two minutes when a shot was driven wide of the keeper's left and in to give the Shrimpers the lead.

Colchester had a penalty appeal rejected after that while at the other end, their trialist keeper made a good save with his legs after coming out to the edge of the box.

One of the U's trialists drove a shot just wide of the near post, after a good move.

But Southend went close again as a ball in from the right to the centre saw the U’s keeper blocking with his legs, before the match was transformed in the space of two minutes.

Sam Cornish equalised for the U's four minutes before half-time with a deflected shot from inside the box, after being picked out by one of the trialists.

And less than two minutes later, Cornish turned provider, receiving the ball in from the right and cutting back for Tom Stagg to drive a left-foot shot into the net.

The hosts were now dominating and Stagg’s pass found the run of substitute Marley Marshall-Miranda who ran into the box but shot over the bar, as the U's went in at half-time leading 2-1.

Colchester immediately went close early in the second half when Akolbire’s header hit the right top angle of bar and post, following a short corner.

Thomas had a shot blocked for the U's before Southend survived a scramble in their box.

And as the away team got forward, they were held at bay by some more excellent defending by Tricker as the hosts prevailed.

U's under-23: Trialist A, Samson Tovide, Frankie Terry, Matty Tricker, Harvey Sayer, Sam Cornish, Gene Kennedy, Trialists B and C and D, Donell Thomas. Substitutes: Marley Marshall-Miranda, Tom Stagg, Josh Fouche, Lordan Akolbire, Ted Collins.