Our FA Youth Cup campaign was brought to an abrupt end after a 3-0 defeat away from home at Colchester United on Friday.
Dan Micciche's side looked in control for much of the opening exchanges and took the game to the hosts right from the off.
First Charlie Patino called Endurance Johnson into action, saving well to deny our midfielder from outside the box, before Omari Hutchinson again forced the goalkeeper into a smart save low to his near post.
Colchester threatened towards the end of the first half, Remy Mitchell denying Jadon Drakes-Thomas with a good reflex save over the bar and then Kacy Parish again moments later.
We gave away a penalty on the stroke of half time, Zach Awe was adjudged to have tripped up Samson Tovide in the area and the referee pointed straight to the spot.
Ryan Lowe sent Mitchell the wrong way with a composed spot-kick to give the home side the lead at the break.
The quick start to the second half that Micciche would have hoped to see from his players never materialised and the half turned into a frustrating one for us.
Much to the bemusement in the away dugout, Amario Cozier-Duberry had a strong penalty appeal waved away midway through the half after he appeared to be tripped in the box.
First Amari Richards and then Jack Henry-Francis fired over from close range in almost identical opportunities, after some excellent work from Patino to find them with clever passes on both occasions.
Colchester doubled their lead 10 minutes before the break, Tovide rounding off an impressive individual display with a header from close range after an inswinging ball caught our defence cold.
The hosts then stung us on counter-attack with seconds remaining to condemn us to defeat, Kaan Bennett finishing on the rebound after Mitchell could only parry the initial effort.
What it means
Defeat means we bow out of the FA Youth Cup at the third-round stage.
We're back in Under-18 Premier League action on Saturday, December 18, when we travel to Fulham.
The match will kick-off at 11am (UK).
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