COLCHESTER United bowed out of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy after losing 4-0 at home to West Ham United's slick under-21s side tonight.

The U's were no match for the Hammers youngsters, who showed why they are now 15 games unbeaten with a fine all-round display spearheaded by some clinical finishing to win the Round of 32 tie at a canter.

Despite going in behind at the break, Colchester were still in the game at the start of the second half but were blown aside by West Ham in the second half, who were simply too good for the hosts.

Colchester boss Matty Etherington made six changes to his starting line-up.

Matt Jay made his first competitive start since October 19, while Gene Kennedy, Will Greenidge and Brad Ihionvien were also recalled to the starting line-up while Samson Tovide and Jayden Fevrier returned from suspension.

Tom Dallison, Noah Chilvers, Cameron McGeehan, Tom Hopper, Joe Taylor and Chay Cooper dropped out, while Fiacre Kelleher skippered the side.

Colchester were aiming to get off to a bright start but fell behind in the eighth minute.

Dan Chesters gets the final touch to score against his old club, after Callum Marshall had been allowed time and space to cross into the danger area.

The U’s had an immediate chance to equalise in the 14th minute when Ihionvien snatched at a shot in front of goal and fired wide, after being picked out by Jay's perfect pass.

And Colchester then had a penalty appeal rejected when Tovide went down under Ben Johnson's challenge in the area, following another fine Jay pass.

But West Ham were always a threat and midway through the half, Tovide headed off the line from underneath his own crossbar after Oliver Scarles had curled in a corner into the six-yard box.

The tie continued to ebb and flow, before half-time.

Jay's stooping header from Mandela Egbo's delivery into the box flew straight into the arms of goalkeeper Joseph Anang while at the other end, Smith got his fingertips to Callum Marshall's long-range strike to turn it over for a corner.

Colchester went in trailing at the break and they fell further behind just before the hour mark.

Some neat footwork in the U's by the visitors resulted in George Earthy finishing clinically from close range, after some neat footwork by the visitors in the U's area.

Colchester made a triple change soon after, sending on John Akinde, Tom Hopper and Noah Chilvers in a bid to get back in the contest.

However, West Ham made it 3-0 in the 78th minute through substitute Lewis Orford, who finished smartly from a central position in the area after more good build up play by the visitors. 

And West Ham's youngsters grabbed a fourth five minutes later when Divin Mubama fired home clinically from a central position, on the edge of the U's box.

It rounded off a disappointing evening for Colchester, who found themselves second best in all areas to West Ham's talented youngsters.

MATCH FACTS: COLCHESTER UNITED: Smith, Greenidge, Mitchell, Kelleher, Egbo, Kennedy, Read (sub Chilvers, 62), Jay (sub Cooper, 78), Fevrier, Tovide (sub Hopper, 62), Ihionvien (sub Akinde, 62).

Substitutes (not used): Terry, Bandeira, Collins.

West Ham United U21: Anang, Chesters (sub Laing, 83), Johnson, Casey, Luizao, Scarles (sub Clayton, 83), Coventry, Kelly (sub Orford, 46), Marshall (sub Kodua, 87), Muama, Earthy (sub Moore, 87).

Subs (not used): Knightsbridge, Forbes.

Goals: West Ham U21: Chesters (8), Earthy (57), Orford (78), Mubama (82).

Bookings: Colchester: Kennedy (foul, 74), Akinde (foul, 90). West Ham U21: Marshall (foul, 30).

Red card: None.

Referee: Attendance: 1,149 (278 West Ham fans).