READING FC Under 23s maintained their 100 per cent record in the Premier League Cup with a convincing 5-1 home victory against Colchester United.

It was their fourth win from four games in the competition and leaves them on the verge of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Scott Marshall’s hosts did not get off to the best of starts at Woking FC when they fell behind to an early U’s goal.

But Royals kept their cool and equalised with a Jack Nolan header after Joel Rollinson’s effort had been palmed away.

It remained all squad at the interval, but the visitors were no match for Reading during a dominant second half.

They took the lead just before the hour mark when Josh Barrett’s fierce shot went in off the post after fine work by Ryan East and Adam Liddle.

Liddle then turned goal scorer by netting twice in quick succession from close range for a 4-1 lead.

The youngster’s two goals were almost identical, coming from a Barrett cross from the left.

And Barrett capped off an excellent individual performance by grabbing Royals’ fifth two minutes from time.

Marshall said: “Colchester had a few young ones playing and we got a bit of a fright when they went a goal up, but we stayed calm and kept doing the right things.

“Eventually we created some really good opportunities and capitalised on them.

“There are challenges all the time in football, and this group have certainly built up a bit of a bond in terms of how to deal with setbacks. They stay calm when things are tough and they don’t lose focus.”

Meanwhile, the Under 23s travel to Flackwell Heath tonight in the Berks & Bucks Cup quarter final.

The match at Wilks Park kicks off at 7.45pm, with tickets costing £6 adults and £3 concessions.

Royals won 2-0 at Bracknell Town in the previous round.

Reading U23: Boyce-Clarke, Balogun, Green, Osho, Odimayo, East, Shokunbi, Rollinson, Nolan, Barrett, Liddle. Subs: Roberts, Burley, Pendlebury, Lawless.