This low key friendly was played in awful conditions as the rain just got heavier as the evening wore on. It is a great credit to the ground staff that the playing surface was so good but the persistent rain meant only 105 diehards attended the game.
Neither Michael Johnson nor Martin Bennett were available so Will Hunt played in goal while manager Mark Burke gave a start to some of the trialists and new players. Elliott Bailey had a great chance to put Hitchin ahead after 18 minutes but having done the hard work put his shot wide. Unfortunately just two minutes later Lewis Rolfe was adjudged to have committed a foul in the penalty area. It seemed a harsh penalty decision but that well known player as far as friendlies are concerned—a trialist – slotted home the penalty.
Trey Charles again showed some neat touches and he produced a good shot after 29 minutes. Kieran McCaffrey who also impressed forced a good save after 33 minutes. Another Colchester trialist hit the post before half time but it was the penalty that separated the teams at the half way mark. Jack Green, Brett Donnelly, Lucas Kirkpatrick and Liam Brooks came on for the start of the second half and later on James Budden, Danny Clifton, Josh Coley, Jack Mace and Michael Simpson were introduced.
Ben Walster and Kirkpatrick produced decent shots but it was Colchester who increased their lead after 78 minutes when Hunt was caught out dribbling the ball and Callum Jones made him pay. The same player scored a third after 85 minutes from close range.
Friendlies can be hard work for supporters with the multiple substitutions but the manager needs them to assess the trialists as well as giving the main squad players game time and Mark Burke said afterwards he had learned more about the players ahead of eventually making the decision on who to sign and who to release.
Hitchin: Hunt, Roberts, Walster, Dowie, Webb, Rolfe, Vincent, McCaffrey, McDonald, Bailey, Charles Subs used Kirkpatrick,Brooks, Green, B Donnelly, Coley, Clifton, Mace, Budden, Simpson
The Colchester team contained too many trialists to be of much use!