Under-18 Professional Development League Two

COLCHESTER United's youngsters conceded late on to lose at home by Queens Park Rangers, following a nine-goal thriller, writes Brian Waller.

U's keeper George Phillips denied Jardel Francis-Adeyinka early on, before Rob Howard's foul on Amrit Bansal-McNulty saw the visitors awarded a penalty.

Bansal-McNulty scored the initial spot-kick but it had to be retaken after the referee spotted encroachment in the box and Phillips dived to his right to push the effort away.

Bansal-McNulty had an effort ruled out for offside soon after before Colchester took the lead after 21 minutes.

A neat pass found Kieran Michaels' run down the right and his high ball into the box drifted over the keeper’s head and in.

The U's doubled their lead three minutes later through George Keys who headed home Ollie Sims's free-kick and only a fine save from keeper Harvey White prevented Callum Jones from making it 3-0.

But the contest suddenly changed just before half-time when Jardel Francis-Adeyinka fired a free-kick over the wall and in for 2-1.

And when Bettache made it 2-2 with a shot that flew in off a post, Rangers went in at the break level.

Rangers took the lead for the first time in the match five minutes after half-time thanks to Leandro Ribeiro's goal.

And it got even worse for the U’s three minutes later when Rob Howard played the ball back to Phillips who probably took his eye off it and it rolled off his foot and in, despite the keeper's best effort to retrieve the situation.

At 4-2 down, the U’s looked doomed but then came the fightback.

Substitute Reuben Mudd reduced the deficit on 66 minutes, when he turned in Dean Ager's pass.

And after White had saved Ager's free-kick, he could only push the ball out to Mudd who netted the rebound to make it 4-4.

But Rangers grabbed a dramatic 90th minute winner when Mickel Platt's shot beat Phillips’ dive, to leave the U's heartbroken.

Colchester United: Phillips, Michaels, Keys, Madley, Antwi, Howard, Anderson, Chilvers, Sims, Ager, Callum Jones. Substitutes: Hasanally, Mudd, Kensdale, Clarke, Cornish.