COLCHESTER United produced a superb display to thrash neighbours Southend United 6-1 in their final Papa John’s Trophy Group A match tonight.

Jevani Brown hit a hat-trick and Michael Folivi, Noah Chilvers and Kwame Poku were also on the scoresheet, as the U’s proved far too strong for their Essex neighbours at the JobServe Community Stadium despite Kazaiah Sterling's stoppage-time consolation for Blues.

It was Colchester's biggest-ever win over Southend and the perfect response following their humiliating FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Marine, at the weekend.

And for Southend, it proved another miserable night with Mark Molesley’s side now having gone 16 games without a win.

Colchester boss Steve Ball made five changes to his starting line-up, following the Marine defeat.

Folivi, Shamal George, Miquel Scarlett, Ryan Clampin and Josh Bohui all came into the U’s side.

Folivi and Bohui were both making their first competitive starts for the U’s while Clampin started his first senior game of the season for the U’s.

Folivi started in a central role, with Bohui on the right and Poku on the left of the attacking three behind Brown.

Visitors Southend made seven changes to their starting line-up, which included former John White who was returning from a two-month lay-off due to a hamstring injury.

Colchester almost took an eighth-minute lead when Brown denied by Blues keeper Harry Seaden who pushed his shot away for a corner, after Folivi had set up the chance.

Harry Pell’s long-range effort flew over seconds later but Colchester survived a major scare when George’s poor clearance gave Spurs loanee Kaziah Sterling a glimpse at goal but the U's keeper redeemed himself to save and Tom Eastman eventually cleared the danger.

Colchester were the better side in the opening stages though and they almost went ahead when Brown's deflected shot sailed wide, after Chilvers and Poku had exchanged passes following a free-kick.

But the U’s did take a 16th-minute lead through Brown, who headed in from close range following Poku's deep cross towards the far post.

Southend had a good chance to equalise six minutes later when Sterling found himself through on goal but was denied at point-blank range by George, who made a good save.

But at the other end, Seaden was in action again when he pushed Poku's long-range effort away for a corner at his near post.

And Colchester doubled their lead in the 38th minute through Brown, who coolly lifted the ball past the advancing Seaden and into the net after Pell’s pass had beaten the visitors’ offside trap.

White was booked for his protestations after the goal, which Southend were unhappy was allowed to stand.

Southend made a double change at the break but Colchester almost made it 3-0 in the opening minute of the second half when Brown fired in a close-range shot which Seaden saved well with his legs, to deny the U’s forward his hat-trick.

But Brown did not have to wait long to complete his treble.

After Bohui had been fouled in the area by Shaun Hobson, up stepped Brown to score from the spot and net his ninth goal of the season and his second half-trick in the space of seven days, following his treble against Stevenage last week.

Brown is the first U's's player to score two hat-tricks in a season since Jamie Cureton achieved the feat, in the 2006/07 campaign.

Sixteen-year-old Samson Tovide was then sent on by the U’s to become one of the club’s youngest-ever debutants, as hat-trick hero Brown departed.

And Folivi made it 4-0 when he was sent through on goal and powered home a shot that was too hot for Seaden to handle.

Colchester then scored a fifth goal with 20 minutes remaining through Chilvers, who fired in a low deflected shot seconds after teenage substitute Samson Tovide’s long-range effort had rattled the crossbar.

Substitute Ollie Coker fired over from close range for Southend but Colchester made it 6-0 when Poku swept home from inside the area, after being picked out by Clampin’s pass.

Seaden pushed away Folivi's long-range attempt and although Sterling pulled a goal back for Southend in the second minute of stoppage-time, it was the U's night.

COLCHESTER UNITED: George, Clampin, Eastman (sub Welch-Hayes, 63), Sowunmi, Scarlett, Pell (sub Miranda, 58), Chilvers, Folivi, Poku, Bohui, Brown (sub Tovide, 58).

Substitutes (not used): Sayer, Senior, Cowan-Hall, Coulter.

Southend United: Seaden, White (sub Nathaniel-George, 46), Hobson, Egbri, Clifford, Taylor, Phillips, Rush, Acquah (sub Coker, 70), Goodship (sub Chandler, 46), Sterling.

Substitutes: Grossart, Davis, Adeooja, Brown.

Goals: Colchester: Brown (16, 38, 57), Folivi (62), Chilvers (70), Poku (82). Southend: Sterling (90).

U’s man of the match: Jevani Brown.

Bookings: Colchester: Miranda (foul, 67). Southend: White (unsporting behaviour, 39), Egbri (foul, 55), Chandler (foul, 61), Hobson (unsporting behaviour, 90).

Referee: Andy Young.