COLCHESTER United's under-18s were well beaten 7-3 by a very impressive Cardiff City side, writes BRIAN WALLER.

There were ten goals scored in the Professional Development League Two meeting, at Florence Park.

Cardiff started well and U's keeper Ted Collins twice denied Kieron Evans early on, along with Rubin Colwill and Isaak Davies.

The Bluebirds made the breakthrough after 20 minutes when Davies' pass found Evans, who shot low to Collins' left from the edge of the box.

But Colchester equalised four minutes later through Tom Stagg, who turned in the loose ball after his initial effort from Harvey Sayer's cross had been blocked.

And the U's were ahead just before the half hour when Joseph Joseph headed in at the back post, although City keeper Bradley Stewart was really was the culprit as he fumbled the ball into his own net.

Colchester struck a post following a back-heel effort from Staff who was also denied by keeper Stewart, as the hosts went in search of a third goal.

But Cardiff equalised five minutes before the break when Siyabonga Ligendza headed over Collins from Ryan Kavanagh's ball into the box.

And after Collins had done superbly to turn Colwill's 30-yard first-time shot around the post, the U's fell behind again after 43 minutes.

From the resulting corner, Josh Rippon glanced a header into the net to give Cardiff a 3-2 lead.

Both teams then scored again in first-half stoppage-time.

The U’s gifted their opponents a goal when a free-kick pass went astray and Davies scored with a cross shot for Cardiff.

But Colchester ensured they trailed only 4-3 at the interval when Joseph netted from close-range deep into first-half stoppage-time, from Sayer's whipped free-kick.

Cardiff went 5-3 ahead soon after the interval, though.

A Cardiff player got the better of Sayer and when he played the ball to the centre, Evans netted from the edge of the box.

Collins then twice denied Evans while at the other end, Sayer made a good run down the left but Stewart made the save with four minutes to go.

Sam Parsons's cross-shot flew just wide of the far post for the visitors, for whom Parsons was denied by another Collins save before the constant visitors’ threat paid off again.

A ball forward found the run of Parsons who coolly put the chance away to make it 6-3.

And Cardiff wrapped up their win in stoppage-time through substitute James Crole, who curled a low shot just inside Collins' left-hand post from the edge of the area.

U's U18: Collins, Akolbire, Joseph, Terry, Sayer, Hasanally, Cornish, Marshall-Miranda (sub Kennedy), Thomas (sub Tovide), Stagg, trialist (Asare-Williams). Subs (not used): Hallett, Kane.