Nahki Wells scored a first-half hat-trick as the Clarets ruthlessly made it two wins out of two in the Premier League Cup.
Wells helped himself to his first goals in a Burnley shirt to underline his progress towards full match fitness ahead of the Clarets’ Premier League clash at Southampton on Saturday.
Boss Sean Dyche plans to take Wells with his squad to the St Mary’s Stadium but also wanted the former Huddersfield Town striker to get another 90 minutes under his belt as an over-age player in the under-23s.
And the plan worked to perfection as Wells added to his game time and showed his sharpness in front of goal to firm up the Clarets’ position as early leaders in Group D of the competition.
Michael Duff’s side followed up their opening 4-3 win at Newcastle with another goal rush against a Colchester side that played the second half with 10 men following the dismissal of central defender William Wright.
Wright was shown a red card for bringing down Wells as he raced through on goal, conceding a penalty which the Clarets’ summer signing converted to complete his treble.
That made it 4-0 to Burnley at the break after Tinashe Chakwana had also scored with a superb strike to add to Wells’ opening two goals as the Clarets secured a first win in four games with a greatly improved display.
Colchester’s long trip was therefore in vain as they made a losing start to their cup campaign.
The U’s had no answer to the Clarets’ impressive start and finishing power, but must have felt hard done by to be out of the contest by half-time.
Lively forward Eoin McKeown missed a great chance after five minutes, bursting clear on the break and rounding keeper Aidan Stone before over-running the ball and failing to finish.
And the U’s striker was later denied by Stone after another pacey counter-attack.
By then, the Clarets were 1-0 up after Wells pounced to re-direct a Mark Howarth effort into the roof of the net from close range following a corner.
Wells made it 2-0 with 35 minutes gone when taking a touch and shooting home at the far post after a cross from Ali Koiki had been allowed to float across the face of goal.
And Chakwana then made it 3-0 with a superb strike, crashing home a volley from just inside the box after Rahis Nabi had got behind the defence and nodded down a lofted pass from Howarth.
Wells completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time after out-pacing the unfortunate Wright.
And the Bermuda international could feasibly have doubled his tally as he continued to stretch the U’s defence after the break.
Wells was twice denied by goalkeeper Daniel Wilks and also hit a post after being picked out by substitute Harry Limb.
Despite dominating with the extra man, the Clarets couldn’t add to their tally as a deflection from another Wells' effort also hit the woodwork.
But with James Clarke partnering Oliver Younger at the centre of the Clarets' defence following a first-half injury to Harry Flowers, a youthful Burnley back four kept the U’s out to add a welcome clean sheet to a good night’s work at the other end.
Burnley: Stone, Birch, Flowers (Clarke 23), Younger, Koiki, Nabi, Howarth (N’Guessan 67), Bayode (Limb 67), McNeil, Wells, Chakwana. Substitutes: King, Thomas.
Colchester: Wilks, Brown, Sturgess, D Wright (Warde 65), Wilson, W Wright, Allarakhia (Kensdale ht), Edge, McKeown, Issa (Ager 60), Sheriff. Substitutes: Kurasik.
Referee: Joseph Johnson