COLCHESTER United suffered a heavy home friendly defeat tonight when they were beaten 5-0 by neighbours Ipswich Town.

The League One new boys proved too strong for John McGreal's side, as James Norwood's hat-trick and Kayden Jackson's brace condemned the U's to their first defeat of the summer in front of a crowd of 5,210.

It proved a testing evening for the U's, who were put to the sword by their clinical East Anglian rivals at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Colchester’s starting line-up featured four of their summer signings, with Dean Gerken, Omar Sowunmi, Luke Gambin and Jevani Brown all featuring.

But there was no Ryan Jackson in the U’s side as he missed out with a stomach injury, with Kane Vincent-Young continuing at right-back and Cameron James starting at left-back.

There were plenty of links between the two neighbouring clubs, with former Ipswich players Gerken, Tom Eastman and Frank Nouble in the Colchester starting line-up and ex-U’s loanee Luke Garbutt starting for Town.

There was also plenty of familiarity in the dugouts, with U’s boss John McGreal having served Ipswich well as a player and Town manager Paul Lambert formerly in charge of Colchester.

There was little to choose between the two sides in the opening stages, with chances few and far between.

But Colchester fell behind in the 16th minute when Norwood converted from the spot, after James brought down Danny Rowe in the area.

The chance had come about after Sowunmi had been dispossessed midway inside his own half by Idris El Mizouni, who quickly picked out Rowe in the box.

It was the first goal that the U’s had conceded in pre-season and although they threatened spasmodically after that, they nearly found themselves 2-0 down, six minutes before the break.

El Mizouni raced clear after the U’s had given away possession but dragged a shot wide of the far post when he should have at least hit the target.

Colchester’s best chance of the first half came three minutes before the break when Ben Stevenson lifted a shot over from the edge of the area, after Frank Nouble had laid the ball off to him.

The U’s went in trailing at the break and made a change at half-time, sending on Paris Cowan-Hall for Brown in attack.

But Colchester found themselves further behind in the seconds that followed the interval.

A deep cross found Andre Dozzell in space at the far post and he picked out half-time substitute Jackson, who slammed home from close-range.

Indeed, Town threatened to score again after that, starting the second half brightly.

Nouble hooked an effort wide for the hosts but Gerken had to be alert on the hour mark to deny Jackson, who had raced towards goal after latching onto Rowe’s pass.

And Colchester found themselves 3-0 down just after the hour mark when Norwood grabbed his second of the game.

It was a superbly-taken goal, as the former Tranmere striker controlled Myles Kenlock’s deep cross well before firing into the net.

And Norwood completed his hat-trick with 20 minutes remaining, side-footing home Jackson's cross with ease from close range.

It was 5-0, less than two minutes later.

Jackson finished with aplomb from close range, after Roberts had shown blistering pace to escape down the left and pick him out.

Ipswich's fifth goal prompted the U's to make nine changes for the final 17 minutes of the game.

But they were unable to grab a consolation goal before the end, as the U's were comprehensively beaten.

Colchester's next friendly is at home to Championship new boys Charlton Athletic, next Tuesday night.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken (sub Ross, 73), Vincent-Young (sub Collinge, 73), Eastman (sub Kensdale, 73), Sowunmi (sub Prosser, 73), James (sub Ager, 73), Lapslie (sub Comley, 73), Stevenson (sub Pell, 69), Senior (sub Fernandes, 73), Gambin (sub Hasanally, 73), Brown (sub Cowan-Hall, 46), Nouble (sub Norris, 73).

Ipswich Town: Holy, Donacien, Kenlock, Chambers, Nydam, Downes, Rowe, Dozzell, El Mizouni, Norwood, Garbutt.

Substitutes: Bialkowski, Wilson, Ndaba, Jackson, Dobra, Woolfenden, Emmanuel, Roberts, Clements, Huws.

Attendance: 5,210.