A CATALOGUE of squandered chances cost Swindon Town greatly as they exited the Carabao Cup in the first round following defeat away at Colchester United tonight.

Tom Eastman found himself fortuitously positioned for United’s first goal late in the second half – punting a right-footed effort beyond the reach of Swindon stopper Luke McCormick.

Courtney Senior and Brandon Comley then added further gloss to the scoreline as a pair of stoppage-time strikes sealed Town’s demise.

Five years have passed since Swindon last featured in the League Cup’s second round, and that number will be added to following last night’s result.

Manager Richie Wellens made four changes to the Town side that defeated Carlisle United 3-2 at home in League Two on Saturday.

Dion Conroy, Mathieu Baudry, Lloyd Isgrove and Jordan Lyden were understandably rested, while Tom Broadbent, Adam May, Dan Ballard and Scott Twine came in.

Squandered chances would be the best way to sum up Town’s first-half display, while hosts Colchester were made to rue six missed opportunities from set-pieces later on.

The visitors enjoyed the better start and should have been ahead with five minutes played. A delightful cross from Kaiyne Woolery found an unmarked Twine on the edge of the six-yard box, but he could only disappointingly nod the ball into the hands of United keeper Dean Gerken.

Ten minutes passed and Colchester still looked vulnerable to Town’s advances. Jerry Yates’ smart turn allowed Keshi Anderson to smartly chip the loanee’s marker to send him through on goal.

Colchester again had Gerken’s quick reactions to thank as he dived low to his right to prevent Yates a third goal of the season, while Anderson’s sprint for the second ball was also cut out.

United had their first look in on goal with 18 minutes played when Michael Doughty was dragged out of position in midfield to allow Tom Lapslie time and space to pick out Luke Norris in the box.

The delivery was slightly overhit, although McCormick did well to venture out of his six-yard box and claim possession under pressure.

Time passed and Town continued to control the game – but to no reward.

Colchester were being pinned behind Town’s back four, May and the hard-working Doughty at this point.

And it granted Town with their third major chance of the half, this time Woolery squandering the opportunity to open the scoring.

After receiving the ball close to the penalty spot from Anderson, Woolery’s effort deflected off Gerken’s shin and bobbled behind for a corner, which was cleared.

A Town counter followed minutes later, but it was cut out with the hosts getting six men behind the advancing Woolery, Anderson and Yates – this sparked a change in the half’s momentum.

Despite Colchester earning five corners and one free-kick in the closing minutes of the opening half, Town held on as the half ended goalless.

After Ballard received treatment following a collision, and Doughty’s underwhelming free-kick from a dangerous position was cleared, Colchester carved out the first chance of the second half.

It was forgettable, though, as Luke Gambin’s effort from 20 yards was guided hopelessly wide of McCormick’s right post following Ryan Jackson’s lengthy throw-in from the right.

Town’s first-half trend certainly didn’t disappear in the second. A fourth clear chance was presented to Wellens’ side, this time Anderson squandering the chance of opening the scoring.

After Yates passed to Anderson, Twine was picked out in the middle. The Town academy graduate pondered his option to shoot, instead laying the ball off to Anderson.

While well-saved, Anderson’s effort was hit low towards Gerken, who made another reasonable comfortable stop from a goalscoring position.

But a potential turning point occurred on the hour mark when both teams were reduced to 10 men. Town’s Yates and United’s Cohen Bramall locked horns on the floor after contesting a loose ball, resulting in the pair both being shown red.

Wellens re-shuffled his pack as a result of the card, introducing Isgrove to the game in place of Twine, while United boss John McGreal brought on Senior for Gambin.

It’s open to debate if United’s change worked, but the hosts found themselves ahead with 14 minutes remaining.

Town defenders Ballard and Broadbent protested referee Charles Breakspear’s decision to award a corner, but protests meant nothing – and United were ahead seconds later.

A slight deflection from the corner allowed Eastman to put his laces through a loose ball, handing Colchester the lead.

Jermaine McGlashan was introduced to Town’s attacking options in place of Broadbent, and while chances were presented to Isgrove, Lyden and Rob Hunt in the game’s concluding 10 minutes, Colchester secured victory through two more goals in injury time.

Only Zeki Fryers could’ve prevented Frank Nouble’s cross from the left, and once McCormick had been beaten, Senior tapped home United’s second.

Comley then cashed in on Colchester’s late scoring spree to add a third to their tally when just beating McCormick’s reach after Senior’s cross.

Colchester United: Dean Gerken, Ryan Jackson, Cohen Bramall, Tom Lapslie, Luke Prosser, Luke Norris (Brandon Comley, 83’), Jevani Brown, Tom Eastman, Ben Stevenson, Luke Gambin (Courtney Senior, 71’), Frank Nouble.

Swindon Town: Luke McCormick, Zeki Fryers, Tom Broadbent (Jermaine McGlashan, 80’), Adam May (Jordan Lyden, 74’), Michael Doughty, Jerry Yates, Kaiyne Woolery, Dan Ballard, Scott Twine (Lloyd Isgrove, 61’), Rob Hunt, Keshi Anderson.