COLCHESTER United's under-23s lost 3-2 at Brantham Athletic, in their latest pre-season friendly, writes BRIAN WALLER.

The U’s made the short trip into Suffolk to take on Brantham at the Leisure Centre ground.

In very hot conditions, it was a team of mainly trialists out to impress the management.

However, Colchester did include regulars Billy Cracknell. Marley Marshall-Miranda, Tom Stagg, Jake Hutchinson and Andre Hasanally.

Hasanally curled his shot wide of the far post early on, before one of the U's trialists (number 14 shorts), who looked impressive throughout, smashed his shot against the crossbar.

But Brantham took the lead just before the half hour when a shot was slid under the dive of the U's keeper, who had initially saved.

Stagg dragged a shot wide of a post, before the first half ended when trialist (number 14 shorts) saw a deflected shot go just wide of the right-hand post.

Colchester made two changes at half-time including the goalkeeper and the U's almost equalised when Hasanally's shot was superbly saved by the keeper down to his left.

The U’s got back on level terms after 55 minutes when trialist (number 14 shorts) drove a left-foot shot past the keeper, after good play between Marshall-Miranda and Hasanally.

And Colchester took the lead four minutes later when Marshall-Miranda slid his shot to the left of the keeper, after a quick free-kick routine with trialist (number 14 shorts).

This promptly led to four U’s subs coming on, as Cracknell, Hutchinson, Stagg and Marshall-Miranda came off.

But the Colchester lead did not last long as Brantham made it 2-2 when the ball was driven into the net, after a header had been blocked following a free-kick.

Hasanally was then denied by the keeper but Brantham bagged a winner with 15 minutes to go when a shot was driven into the far corner of the net, following a short corner.

Colchester had a late chance when arguably their player of the match (trialist number 14 shorts) had a shot charged down, as the hosts ran out winners.