COLCHESTER United have progressed to the knockout stages of the Bristol Street Motors EFL Trophy after beating League One side Peterborough United 1-0 at the JobServe Community Stadium tonight.

Bradley Ihionvien's first-half strike proved enough to secure the U's victory and clinch them runners-up spot in the group, following victory over Posh.

It was an encouraging display by Colchester, as they saw off Darren Ferguson's side.

Colchester boss Matty Etherington made five changes to his side for the meeting with his former club.

Tom Smith, Fiacre Kelleher, Chay Cooper, Tom Hopper and Bradley Ihionvien were all handed starting spots from the team that began the U’s League Two game at Stockport County, last weekend.

Owen Goodman, Tom Dallison, Cameron McGeehan, Samson Tovide and Jayden Fevrier dropped out.

Peterborough went into the game knowing that they had already qualified for the knockout stages and it was the League One side who started the brighter.

They were dominant in possession in the opening stages and went close in the third minute when Ryan de Havilland tried his luck with a low drive from 20 yards that was pushed away well by the diving U’s goalkeeper Smith.

Colchester slowly warmed to the task though and came close in the 19th minute when Ihionvien capitalised on Emmanuel Fernandez's error midway inside the Posh half before firing in a shot that goalkeeper Fynn Talley spilled, before gathering at the second attempt.

The U’s looked the more likely side to break the deadlock as the first half wore on and they had a great chance to take the lead, ten minutes before half-time.

Cooper latched onto Kelleher’s long ball that caught out the Posh defence and fired in a shot that was saved by Talley, with the former Spurs youngster scuffing his follow up effort.

Colchester suffered a blow six minutes before the interval when Mingi pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury as he raced towards the corner flag and had to be replaced, with Fevrier brought on in his place.

But the U’s were ahead in the 42nd minute when Ihionvien fired home a first-time effort from close range, after Talley had pushed Cooper’s cross straight into his path.


Colchester went in search of more goals before the break and Will Greenidge fired a fierce shot straight at Talley, as the hosts went in at half-time ahead.

The U's brought on McGeehan for Read at the break and continued to look the better team in the second half, with Mandela Egbo firing a low shot just wide after finding himself space in the Peterborough box.

But Posh almost levelled things up on the hour through Malik Mothersille, who hit the frame of the goal, after being picked out at the near post by a Harley Mills pass.

And the visitors went close again midway through the second half when Ajiboye let fly with a fierce effort that sailed inches over the bar, while later in the half substitute Kai Corbett headed into the side netting for Posh, from Zac Sturge's deep cross.

Posh squandered a gilt-edged chance to equalise in stoppage-time when Fernandez somehow scooped the ball wide from five yards with the goal at his mercy, as the U's claimed victory.

MATCH FACTS: COLCHESTER UNITED: Smith, Greenidge, Kelleher (sub Terry, 70), Mitchell, Egbo (sub Thomas, 76), Read (sub McGeehan, 46), Chilvers (sub Kennedy, 70), Mingi (sub Fevrier, 42), Cooper, Hopper, Ihionvien.

Substitutes (not used): Nelson, Goodman.

Peterborough United: Talley, Crichlow, Fuchs (sub O'Connell, 46), de Havilland, Sturge, Ajiboye, Mothersille, Fernandez, O'Brien-Brady (sub Corbett, 57), Dornelly, Mills (sub van Lier, 67).

Substitutes (not used): West, Unwin, Davies, Gilbert.

Goals: Colchester: Ihionvien (42).

Bookings: Colchester: Kennedy (foul, 75). Peterborough: Crichlow (foul, 64), van Lier (foul, 77).

Red card: None.

U's man of the match: Will Greenidge.

Referee: Craig Hicks.

Attendance: 802 (205 Peterborough fans).