COLCHESTER United's under-23s were beaten 4-1 by Sheffield United at Florence Park in their latest Professional Development League Two game, writes BRIAN WALLER.

Midfielder Tom Lapslie played 45 minutes for the U's in the game, as he continues his comeback from knee surgery in the summer.

In the pouring rain, Blades took a 15th-minute lead through Illiman Ndiaye who netted with a flick header from Angelo Cappello's free-kick.

But Colchester equalised after 27 minutes when the ball ended up in the visitors' net when a trialist pounced on the rebound to score, despite initially a good save by the Blades keeper.

The U’s almost went ahead through a good left foot shot from the edge of the box that was well saved by the visiting keeper.

And the U’s ended the half with a good shot on the turn which went close, as the teams went in at the break on level terms.

After the interval, the U’s probably with the wind at their backs pressed forward.

They had the better of the opening moments before both teams made substitutions.

Ryan Viggars and Zak Brunt came on and the two changes had a big say on the result.

The game was turned with around a quarter of an hour to go as the visitors went 2-1 ahead.

Breaking well down the right was Ndiaye set free by a pass by Harrison Neal and it was his delivery in which was converted in the centre by Zak Brunt.

Sheffield United pushed for more goals and the visitors added two more goals, on the final whistle.

After a poor clearance by the U’s keeper, a ball from the right saw Ryan Viggars' cross-shot find the far corner of the net, in the 89th minute.

And then in the second minute of time added on, more good play by Ndiaye saw his cross in from the right turned in from a central position by Femi Seriki, as the U's youngsters were beaten.