COLCHESTER United's youngsters booked a BBC Essex Senior Cup semi-final meeting with Hashtag United after beating Buckhurst Hill 5-1, writes BRIAN WALLER.

The U's were comfortable winners over their Essex Senior League opponents but it was not until the second half that they made their superiority count, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Hakeem Sandah dragged a shot just wide of the near post early on, while soon after Chay Cooper sent a curling effort just over the bar.

Buckhurst Hill goalkeeper Finn Rushton saved Bradley Ihionvien's effort before Colchester took the lead on the half hour mark.

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A superb pass sent Sandah away and although Rushton saved well from him and his follow up, Cooper drove home the loose ball.

Rushton then saved Gene Kennedy's long-range shot and Owura Edwards shot just wide, as the U's went in at the break ahead.

Colchester introduced Oscar Thorn for Edwards at half-time and it was almost 2-0 when Sandah saw his left-foot effort saved by Rushton.

The U's then doubled their lead on 58 minutes when Ihionvien rifled home a left-foot shot, after Cooper had got in down the left and picked him out.


Kennedy fired just wide and Thorn was denied by Rushton, before Cooper's effort deflected off a defender and went over the bar.

Colchester made it 3-0 on 70 minutes through Thorn, who netted from substitute Jamie Arnold' assist.

Buckhurst Hill pulled a goal back four minutes later when a cross from the right was headed back across to Suleyman Zohdu, who drove his shot into the net.

But the U's restored their three-goal lead with 14 minutes remaining when Marley Marshall Miranda's swerving 25-yard effort flew into the net.

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And Colchester sealed their win two minutes later when Cooper netted a fine free-kick from a central position to score his second of the gamee.

Buckhurst Hill had the ball in the net late on through George Thompson but he was ruled offside, as the U's progressed.

Colchester United: Tom Smith, Elkanah Akor, Ronny Nelson, Frankie Terry (sub Frankie Edwards), Jet Dyer, Hakeem Sandah, Gene Kennedy (sub Ryan Lowe), Chay Cooper, Marley Marshall Miranda, Bradley Ihionvien (sub Jamie Arnold), Owura Edwards (sub Oscar Thorn). Sub (not used): Ted Collins.