Match ends, Colchester United 1, Aston Villa 2.
Championship club Aston Villa reached the EFL Cup second round with a narrow away win at League Two Colchester.
Scott Hogan slotted in Villa's opener after U's keeper Sam Walker fumbled.
The hosts had an early chance to level after Christopher Samba took out Sammie Szmodics in the box, but Mikael Mandron's drilled penalty was saved.
Frankie Kent then inadvertently turned in Albert Aldomah's cross, before the United defender made it 2-1 at the other end shortly before half-time.
Colchester pushed for a leveller after the break but missed several chances as Villa - who made nine changes to their starting side after their league draw with Hull - held on to progress.
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Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce: "The conditions were tough and we had a makeshift back four, so it was always going to be difficult.
"Jed (Steer) pulled off two or three very good saves and I'm delighted for him, because he's worked really hard to get back.
"He ruptured his Achilles in my first week at the club but he's a very decent goalkeeper and he got his rewards.
"You wouldn't send a lifeboat out in those conditions and I've never known anything like it for an August evening. It was unbelievable.
"We made too many mistakes but thankfully got away with it."
Colchester head coach John McGreal: "We showed a togetherness tonight, even after their first goal had gone in which came out of nothing.
"We bounced back straight away and showed a bit of character but then it went to 2-0 and we could have crumbled.
"But we bounced back again and I'm really proud of the players. The fans were on their feet at times and it was one of those games.
"We missed a penalty but that happens and we had opportunities after that when we got into good areas. It was great experience and a great game to watch - we can take a lot of heart and confidence out of the performance."
- 4LapslieSubstituted forSlaterat 65'minutes
- 16MurrayBooked at 76mins
- 17ReidSubstituted forKinsellaat 69'minutes
- 7WrightSubstituted forJohnstoneat 82'minutes
- 10SzmodicsBooked at 87mins
- 37AdomahSubstituted forHepburn-Murphyat 69'minutes
- 19GreenBooked at 53minsSubstituted forde Laetat 85'minutes
- 36O'HareBooked at 59mins
- 9HoganSubstituted forDavisat 73'minutes
- 2de Laet
- John Brooks
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Colchester United 1, Aston Villa 2.
Foul by Callum O'Hare (Aston Villa).
Sean Murray (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Hand ball by Mikael Mandron (Colchester United).
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Cameron James.
Foul by Keinan Davis (Aston Villa).
Cameron James (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Josh Onomah (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Craig Slater (Colchester United).
Attempt missed. Denny Johnstone (Colchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.
Attempt blocked. Denny Johnstone (Colchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mikael Mandron with a headed pass.
Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Cameron James (Colchester United).
Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Ritchie de Laet (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United).
Substitution, Aston Villa. Ritchie de Laet replaces Andre Green.
Foul by Keinan Davis (Aston Villa).
Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.