STEVE Ball dedicated Colchester United’s thumping win over Southend United to the fans after serving up a goal feast in the Papa John’s Trophy.

The U’s bounced back in style following their FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Marine with an impressive 6-1 triumph over their Essex neighbours in the Group A match, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Jevani Brown’s hat-trick, along with goals from Noah Chilvers, Michael Folivi and Kwame Poku, gave Colchester their biggest-ever win over Southend, for whom Kazaiah Sterling grabbed a late consolation.

It helped the U's bow out of the competition in style in their third and final game, with West Ham United's under-21s and Portsmouth advancing.

U's boss Ball said: “The boys are absolutely buzzing off that.

“Listen, football has a funny habit sometimes of hurting you.

“This time, last week were so high after the Stevenage performance and win, three out of four wins in the league and in really good form and then obviously Saturday happens, which was obviously so disappointing.

“The boys didn’t play well and there was no-one more gutted than them.

“We hated the feeling on Saturday and waking up on Sunday, being out of the FA Cup and watching the draw on Monday night.

“But we’ve bounced back with a really good performance.

“There was a real intent – it was a big local derby, I don’t care what anybody says.

“We took this game very seriously and that one is for the fans.

“I’m sure they were suffering a bit like all of us, after Saturday but that one is a great tonic.

“The players certainly had a point to prove, after what happened against Marine.

“We held a really good meeting on Sunday and Monday where we talked about how big a game this was for us after Saturday and I think we showed that.

“There were quite a few other FA Cup upsets over the course of the weekend and unfortunately, we were one of them.

“This was a big game - Mark (Molesley) at Southend is having a tough time and he would have wanted to have got a positive result.

“But we wanted to win and do well too – it was a local derby and we produced a very good performance.

“It was a first-team match between the two sides and it was so important that we bounced back.”

Ball was full of praise too for forward Brown, who bagged his second hat-trick in the space of seven days having also scored three against Stevenage, last Tuesday.

“They were great finishes from Jevani and his second goal was sublime and a real bit of quality.

“If we give JB the service, he scores,” added Ball.

“He knows himself he should have got the winner in the last few minutes against Marine on Saturday when he had that one on one chance but he took his chances and they were great finishes.”