Colchester United have been beaten 5-0 by Spurs U21s in the opening EFL Trophy tie
After the 1-1 draw with Mansfield at the weekend, Ben Garner made eleven changes for Colchester as they took on Tottenham’s U21s in the EFL Trophy.
The visitors were able to dominate the ball and found a breakthrough after half hour. Jamie Donley remained composed in the box and slotted past Tom Smith to give Spurs the lead.
The U’s nearly hit back straight away but Josh Keeley was able to deny a looping header from Tom Hopper and keep the North Londoners ahead.
Smith was in action again at the other end, denying Tyrell Ashcroft from a tight angle as the U’s went in at half-time 1-0 down.
Garner’s side started on the front-foot in the second half, but a quick double from Spurs put a dampener on proceedings.
Jude Soonsup-Bell made it 2-0 less than ten minutes in, tiptoeing his way through the Colchester defence and placing past a stagnant Smith in goal.
Donley then got his second a minute later, firing in from the edge of the box and short sighting the goalkeeper.
It wasn’t long before Spurs added a fourth. Will Lankshear found himself free at the back post and headed home to make it comfortable for the visitors.
Soonsup-Bell grabbed a brace and made it 5-0, skipping past two U’s defenders before slotting into the goal to round off the win.
The wind was howling in Essex, meaning both teams started the game slowly and tried to keep the ball on the floor with short passes.
It was the U’s who started brighter and with more energy, despite Garner’s wholesale changes.
Alex Newby was looking to get himself involved early on and was dictating the pace of play but Spurs were able to get a foothold on the game after a bright opening period for the hosts.
Yago Alonso had the first real opportunity for the Premier League academy side, but his effort from the edge of the box was well over the frame.
At the other end Brad Ihionvien latched on to a loose ball from Alfie Dorrington, but the defender did enough to get back and prod it behind for the first corner of the half.
The set piece came to nothing, but it was another promising sign for the U’s in the early moments.
Alonso was the first player to be yellow carded by referee Sunny Gill after the forward stopped Newby from breaking into opposition territory.
Tom Hopper was then booked not long after for stopping a Spurs break in the middle of the pitch.
Will Lankshear had a great chance to put the North Londoners ahead after twenty-five minutes, cutting back on to his left foot but blasting his effort way over the bar.
Donley eventually opened the scoring in the match. A delicate touch in the box took the ball away from the U’s defence and he slotted calmy past Smith in goal ten minutes before half-time.
The U’s looked to bounce back before the break but were struggling to deal with Spurs’ possession heavy tactics and were relying on counter-attacks to find space in their half.
Hopper had a looping header saved by Keeley and Spurs scrambled to clear consecutive corners from the home side.
It was not to be in the first half for Colchester who went in 1-0 down at half-time.
There were no changes from either side at the start of the second half and the U’s emerged with a renewed energy as they looked to get back into the game.
Some nice work from Ihionvien won his side a succession of corners but Spurs were able to deal with the pressure.
Despite a bright start, the U’s fell further behind just ten minutes into the second half.
Soonsup-Bell was able to dance his way into the box and smash home to double the visitor’s advantage.
It was three a minute later, as Donley got his second from the edge of the box, firing into the bottom corner and past Smith, who could not see through the defenders infront of him.
Spurs hit four before the hour mark. Lankshear had plenty of time at the back post to nod home and inflict more punishment on Colchester, who were struggling to make a real impact against a quality side.
Following the shower of goals, Garner opted to make changes with Samson Tovide, Zach Mitchell, Noah Chilvers and Chay Cooper all entering the fray for the final twenty minutes.
Spurs had also made a change, with summer signing Alejo Veliz coming on for goalscorer Lankshear.
It wasn’t Veliz but Soonsup-Bell who grabbed a fifth for Spurs. The forward danced his way past the U’s defence and slammed into the net for his second of the game.
Tottenham made a host of changes for the final 10 minutes. Goalscorer Soonsup-Bell came off and three new players made their way onto the pitch to freshen things up for the London club.
The game fizzled out in the closing stages and it would be the visitors who would take the spoils back to London.