MALDON and Tiptree surprised Park Drive visitors Colchester United with a 3-2 pre-season friendly victory on Tuesday night, writes JON LONGMAN.

Colchester fielded five trialists in a match that clashed with the live TV screening of England’s match in Denmark and attracted 154 fans.

The U’s visit to the club that has nurtured a number of their young players over recent seasons also clashed with their first team’s visit to Portsmouth in the EFL Trophy.

Colchester welcomed the chance to give a trial to five players while their former player, Wayne Brown, now the Jammers manager, prepared for his side's FA Cup tie at Hertford Town on Saturday.

The squad that served the Jammers so well has broken up and Brown has been busy scouring non-league football for replacements.

It has been a big challenge for Brown and his coaching team but they look to have built up a team of mystery trialists who could go some way to filling the gaping holes in their forward line left by the departures of Danny Parish, Charlee Hughes and Jorome Slew who scored 100 goals between them last season.

Parish and Hughes lead the Wealdstone attack in the National League this season.

The Jammers and the U’s fought out a well-balanced first half with their respective goalkeepers, Ben McNamara and Ted Collins, being troubled little although Collins made one miraculous save to scoop away a teasing corner from under his crossbar moments before the interval.

The U’s replaced him with Endurance Johnson in the second half and that was when the game slipped away from them.

A flurry of substitutes was matched by a flurry of goals and the Jammers went ahead in the 56th minute when the trialist centre forward netted a penalty after he was floored.

That score became 2-0 six minutes later when Johnson was exposed by his defence and the trialist number 12 crashed the ball past in a one-on-one situation.

Dan Collinge pulled a goal back heading home in a short corner move that looked as though it had come straight off the Florence Park training pitch.

The Jammers restored their lead when Johnson dropped the ball on his own line and it was left to the U’s to mount a fightback.

Substitute striker Samson Tovide converted Lordon Akoibire’s cross to make it 3-2 but the U’s ran out of time in their search for an equaliser.

U’s XI (at Maldon & Tiptree): Collins, Akoibire, Trialist, Kennedy, Cracknell, Kensdale, Trialist, McLeod, Trialist, Trialist, Sayer. Subs: Lowe, Collinge, Tovide, Hutchinson, Johnson and two trialists.