Paul McCallum bagged a brace as Leyton Orient produced a convincing display to beat League One outfit Colchester United 3-0.
The O’s summer signing bagged goals in either half with two well-placed headers before substitute Scott Kashket added a third with just less than 15 minutes remaining.
Playing in their first game since returning from their training camp in Spain, Orient Head Coach Ian Hendon named Sean Clohessy as captain for the trip to the Weston Homes Community Stadium, as the O’s lined up in a diamond formation which saw Lloyd James sit just in front of the defence and Dean Cox at the tip.
Hendon also included two new trialists in the squad as Wales international Danny Gabbidon and goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet were named on the bench, while Connor Essam and Frazer Shaw both started in defence.
In what was a tight start to the game, neither side showed signs of taking the game lightly as several strong challenges flew in from both sets of players as the majority of the tie was battled in the middle of the park.
Orient had the first chance of the game just shy of the 20 minute and really should have broken the deadlock when Dean Cox’s free-kick was met by the head of Mathieu Baudry but the O’s man could only direct his header wide with Colchester goalkeeper Elliot Parish stranded.
The chance sparked the hosts into life however and Colchester responded with two efforts of their own instantly as Richard Brindley blazed a shot over before Dion Sembie-Ferris cut inside from the right and had a low effort saved by Gary Woods.
Despite the two chances Orient quickly settled back into their rhythm and striker Paul McCallum came close to registering his fourth goal of pre-season but his header from a Sean Clohessy delivery dropped wide of the far post.
With 25 minutes played Colchester’s George Moncur took aim from outside the penalty area but Woods dealt with the shot comfortably.
Moments later the hosts were denied by the woodwork as Brindley’s cross from the right crashed back off the crossbar with Woods rooted in the middle of the goal.
Orient were playing some impressive football during the first half and it was another flowing move which created their next opportunity as Clohessy burst forward down the right and sent in a cross which was met by Jay Simpson but Parish managed to tip his attempt over for a corner.
A minute later Orient did manage to make the breakthrough however as another Clohessy cross found its way to McCallum at the far post who directed his header just inside the post.
With five minutes left to play of the first half Simpson had a glorious chance to double the O’s lead as he was left unmarked from a Cox free-kick but he could only misdirect his header wide of the goal.
During the half-time interval Orient made one change as trialist Danny Gabbidon replaced fellow trialist Connor Essam in the heart of the defence alongside Baudry.
Two minutes into the half Orient then doubled their advantage as Bradley Pritchard’s delightful ball into the box saw McCallum double his tally for the day with a brilliant header into the far corner.
Following the second Orient were appeared to be well in control and with 53 minutes Mathieu Baudry was denied by the frame of the goal as his header came back off the bar from a Cox corner.
With 25 minutes remaining Cox came close to adding a spectacular third for the O’s as he brought down a cross-field ball from Sammy Moore before lashing an dipping volley which again came back off the crossbar.
Scott Kashket came on in place of McCallum with 15 minutes remaining and just over a minute after making his introduction the young striker bagged his first of pre-season as he got in behind the U’s defence and calmly slotted the ball beyond substitute ‘keeper Sam Walker to seal the victory.
COLCHESTER: Parish (Walker 70), Brindley (Olufemi 45), Kent, Eastman (Wynter 61), Briggs (Vincent-Young 73), Sembie-Ferris (Gilbey 61), Lapslie (Edwards 61), G Moncur, Wright (Holman 70), Szmodics (Massey 61), Bonne (Porter 70)
SUBS: C James
BOOKINGS: Briggs (70)
ORIENT: Woods (Mehmet 61), Clohessy (Ling 85), Baudry, Essam (Gabbidon HT), Shaw, L James (Agyemang 85), Pritchard (Turgott 61), Moore (Semedo 85), Cox (F Moncur 79), Simpson (Palmer 61), McCallum (Kashket 74)
GOALS: McCallum (32 & 47), Kashket (76)
ATTENDANCE: 1,084 (308 O’s fans)