COLCHESTER United's under-23s lost 4-1 at Charlton Athletic, in their latest Premier League Cup group match, played at Dartford FC this afternoon.

Richard Hall's side, which featured the likes of Noah Chilvers, Ollie Kensdale and Andre Hasanally, were left with a mountain to climb after going in at the break trailing 3-0.

And although Sammie McLeod grabbed a consolation for the U's in the second half, they were unable to salvage anything from the game.

The result eliminates Colchester and Swansea City from the knockout stages of the competition, as Reading and Charlton progress.

Colchester fell behind in the 13th minute when Josh Davison netted with a fine finish, following Junior Quitirna's assist.

And Davison bagged his second goal, six minutes later when he followed up to score, after U's keeper Bailey Vose had made a fine save from Quitirna's deflected effort.

Things got even worse for Colchester, in the 24th minute when the hosts went further ahead.

James Vennings scored from the spot, after one of the Charlton trialists was fouled in the box.

Colchester went in at the break with it all to do but they did give themselves a glimmer of hope in the 56th minute through McLeod, who found the net with a well-placed effort.

But any hope the U's had of salvaging a draw was ended midway through the second half when Davison completed his hat-trick from the spot, after Johl Powell had been pushed in the area.

Davison had also scored in the under-23 league match between the two sides at the JobServe Community Stadium earlier in the season, which the U's won 3-2.

Colchester's final group match in the competition is at home to Swansea City, on February 24.