Under-18 Professional Development League Two

COLCHESTER United's youngsters fell to a comprehensive defeat at Craig Bellamy's Cardiff City side.

As Storm Brian came in from the West, the U’s hopes were blown away by a Bluebirds spell of three goals in 20 minutes either side of half-time.

Cardiff came close to scoring early on when Connor Davies hit a post while at the other end, keeper George Ratcliffe denied Callum Jones.

But after Jones and Sam Parsons both fired wide, the Bluebirds broke the deadlock just before half-time when Davies netted from Sion Spense's cross from close range.

After going a goal down, the U’s immediately threatened straight after half time and Ollie Sims was denied after Adam Sharif superbly cleared his effort off the line.

It proved crucial as soon after, Cardiff doubled their lead.

The impressive Spense was brought down by keeper George Phillips after racing through and a penalty was awarded, which the Cardiff midfielder duly tucked away.

Colchester had a chance to get a goal back but George Keyes' header was easily held by Ratcliffe.

And Cardiff made it 3-0 when Spense's well-weighted pass saw Kieron Evans guide his shot past Phillips, for 3-0.

Dean Ager's 30-yard strike was brilliantly saved by Cardiff keeper Ratcliffe and Noah Chilvers had a fine goal ruled out for offside while Evans’ acrobatic effort went over the bar, as Colchester were beaten.

COLCHESTER UNITED U18: George Phillips, George Keys, Frankie Stone, Rob Howard, Jack Madley, Routledge, Dean Ager, Callum Anderson, Callum Jones, Noah Chilvers, Ollie Sims. Substitutes: Andre Hasanally, Sam Cornish, Kieran Michaels.