MICHAEL Fernandes was on target as Colchester United's under-23s won 1-0 at Swansea City in their latest Premier League Cup group game, writes BRIAN WALLER.

Richard Hall's side boosted their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition after claiming their first group game win, at the Swans' Landore training ground.

It was a busy time for two of Colchester's scholars Al-Amin Kazeem and Billy Cracknell, who had also been in the Maldon and Tiptree squad for their FA Cup match against Newport County.

Colchester keeper Callum Coulter make a good third-minute save to deny Ali Al-Hamadi and soon after, pulled down Cameron Evans's effort, as Swansea pressed.

U's veteran Jamal Campbell-Ryce used all his experience to keep his side going but the home pressure continued.

A combination of deflections prevented a goal after Aldo Kalulu’s cross had found Liam Cullen in the box.

But after Brandon Cooper had glanced a header just wide, there was a shock in store for the hosts after 24 minutes.

A fine solo burst down the right by Fernandes ended in a clinical finish to the keeper's left.

Swansea responded well and created numerous chances in a 15-minute spell before the break.

Coulter blocked at his near post from Cullen and Campbell-Ryce cleared a shot off the line.

Coulter then made three further saves and Cooper and Cameron Evans were also denied, as the Swans pressed.

Colchester went in at the break ahead but Swansea continued to create more chances in the second half.

Hamadi was denied by Coulter yet again but Colchester came close to scoring when Freitas-Gouveia's effort had too much power on it.

And the U's came close again when a mistake by Swansea's Ryan Bevan saw him thump the ball against his own post and Evans did well to clear the follow-up.

Colchester continued to create chances and with five minutes remaining, Dean Ager's effort from a tight angle was just over the bar.

Home free-kicks then ensued as Blake’s delivery into the box from the left saw Coulter drop the ball after he was challenged by Evans and Cooper, prompting the referee to award the U’s a free-kick.

But Colchester held on to to secure the win and moved up to second place in the group table, behind leaders Reading.

U's under-23: Coulter, Scarlett, Collinge, Cracknell, Kazeem, Campbell-Ryce, Dunne, Ager, Fernandes, Freitas-Gouveia.