COLCHESTER United's under-23s began their Premier League Cup campaign with an excellent 4-2 win at Stoke City, writes BRIAN WALLER.

The U's youngsters were in fine form to claim victory, in a match played at the Lyme Valley Stadium in Newcastle under Lyme.

It was a quiet start to the match until Colchester keeper Ted Collins tipped a deflected shot from Pat Jarrett over the bar, before a Lewis Macari header landed in the hands of Collins.

Home player Dan Malone then found his way into the referee’s notebook.

The contest then exploded into life midway through the first half when both teams scored in a matter of a minute.

Colchester took the lead with a goal by Andre Hasanally, after 23 minutes.

However soon after that Stoke levelled things up with an equaliser as the ball was cut back to Jarrett, who fired home from 12 yards out.

Just after the half hour mark, City went very close as Kieran Coates fired just wide.

But almost immediately after Stoke took the lead as Adam Porter was on target as he curled a shot in off the far post, after 34 minutes.

Tom Sparrow's effort that was pushed away and Stoke went close again as Jarrett's looping header came back off the bar.

Home keeper Robbie Hemfrey then had to be alert as he was down to keep out the flicked effort by Donell Thomas.

New Colchester signing Chay Cooper fired just over from the edge of the box soon after half-time, before Thomas went close with a header.

As the half continued it was the visitors attacking mostly as Sam Cornish fired wide from the edge of the area.

Collecting a Jarrett pass, Porter shot wide of the far post but shortly before the hour mark and it was all square again at 2-2.

Cooper coolly fired home Colchester's equaliser after 56 minutes and another Hasanally effort went just wide.

But as the match approached the last quarter of an hour, Colchester took the lead again through Samson Tovide, who prodded home from close range with 18 minutes remaining.

And the U's effectively wrapped up their victory with six minutes to go through Thomas.

Sparrow shot just wide for Stoke in stoppage-time but Colchester's under-23s had done enough to win the match and take the three points.