Romford women’s League Cup hopes ended as they lost their quarter-final 5-0 to a powerful Colchester United side on Sunday.

Colchester had scored a massive 96 goals in the 14 League and Cup games played this season, winning all but one of them.

And Boro’s task was made more difficult with all five recent signings being cup-tied and striker Sammie Kuski missing, having suffered a broken ankle in the days before the match.

Caretaker boss Peter Durham called up five members of the Under-16 squad but, despite brave resistance from Boro, the visitors ran out worthy winners.

Boro actually started the stronger of the teams as skipper Shannon Simpson had an early shot well saved then was put through again by Evie Doyle-Love but saw her shot was blocked once more by the keeper.

As the game progressed, the visitors began to dominate possession, but the centre-back pairing of Holly Winser and Izzy Kearns stood firm and Jamie Williams was equal to the long-range shots she faced.

It was a shock when Williams made an uncharacteristic handling error as she fumbled a hopeful through ball on 34 minutes and Ruby Vinton poached the lead.

With half time looming, striker Ruby Greenleaf doubled Colchester's lead with a fine strike from outside the box.

Despite the efforts of wide players Aliya Sambani and Crystene Fenton, the visitors dominated possession and Lindsey Morgan scored a scrappy third just a minute into the second half to effectively end the tie as a contest.

Boro continued to battle bravely but threatened only sporadically as Claire Huggins and Shamari Crawford worked hard to supply an increasingly isolated Simpson.

The absence of the injured Sammie Kuski was keenly felt as the Belles lacked the cutting edge to truly trouble the U's.

Thalia Adams and Ella Cahill added two late strikes for the visitors, as Darcie Colkett and Lily Stuart-Evans made late substitute appearances to increase Boro's teenage contingent to five and gain some valuable experience against the first team from a professional club.

Durham said: “All our young girls did really well against a tough team. Unfortunately, the third goal came at a really bad time and we didn't recover from that.

"We are looking forward to finishing the league season strongly now”

Boro return with a big league game against promotion rivals Toby FC on March 10.