Points shared in a game with few clear cut chances
Town: Jayson Leutwiler, Dom Smith (Larnell Cole 34), Andy Mangan, Junior Brown, Abu Ogogo, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (Scott Vernon 70), Nat Knight-Percival (c), Zak Whitbread, Shaun Whalley (Jordan Clark 82), Jack Grimmer, Ian Black
Subs: Mark Halstead, Kyle Vassell, Mat Sadler, Elliot Grandin
Colchester United: Elliott Parish, Owen Garven, Joe Edwards, Drey Wright (Elliott Lee 46), Chris Porter (Maccauley Bonne 66), George Moncur, Gavin Massey (Nathan Oduwa 82), Frankie Kent, Kane Vincent-Young, Nicky Shorey, Leo Chambers
Subs: Dillion Barnes, Richard Brindley, Jamie Harney, Darren Ambrose
Ref: A Woolmer
Assistants: J Johnson and D Bushell
Fourth Official: R Atkin
There is the one change to the side that started against Manchester United in the FA Cup with Dom Smith coming in to replace Jermaine Grandison who is missing with a hip problem. Richie Wellens hasn't traveled after turning his ankle in training on Friday.
It was Colchester who had the best of the attacking play in the early exchanges but Town were doing the defensive work well to keep the home side at bay.
As the game went on Town started to look more dangerous as an attacking force and after they forced a string of corners Town started to warm to the game. The visitors were looking to hit Colchester on the counter attack and were putting together some good attacks.
Town's best chance came just before the 20 minute mark when Shaun Whalley delivered another good corner, this time it was high to the back post, Town players jumped and the ball dropped to Knight-Percival his back was to goal but managed to turn and get a shot in on goal but he was falling backwards and it was over the bar.
Colchester had a great chance to take the lead on 26 minutes after they broke down the center of the park, Moncur was in possession and threaded a ball through the Town defence to put Porter in on goal, he had only Leutwiler to beat and put in a low shot but it went the wrong side of the far post and it was a let off for Town.
There was a big shout for a penalty from the Colchester supporters after Wright had pushed through the Town box and into the box, he went to ground a little theatrically and ref Woolmer who was on the spot blew his whistle and booked the Colchester player for simulation.
With just over 10 minutes of the half remaining Town made an early substitution with Dom Smith going off and Larnell Cole coming on. It looked to be a change of formation as well with Town switching to four at the back to try and stop the pressure that Colchester had been building,
Town had a good chance 5 minutes before the break, a good break from Town saw Black play a nice ball down the right for Whalley to run onto, he held play up and then hit an inviting cross that was header clear, it dropped to Ogogo just outside the Us box and he hit a lovely long range effort in that beat Parish but the post was there to save the home side.
Just before the break Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro closed down Chambers and put in a real strikers challenge on the Us left-back catching him late, it was a free-kick for Colchester and a booking for Jean-Louis.
Colchester had a chance after the restart when the ball was put back into the Town box, it looped up with Moncur challenging with a number of players, there were arms in the air and one of those was Moncur's and the assistant flagged early and for the handball.
The ball dropped on the edge of the Town box after a Colchester attack, Junior Brown put his head and was caught by Massey who put his body into the challenge and sent Junior flying, after treatment Junior was ok to continue and Massey picked up a booking.
Town were still creating chances and when the ball was with Whalley midway through the Us half he threaded a nice ball for Mangan to run onto, he burst into the box and nicked a shot past Parrish but it rolled the wrong side of the post.
Town made a second change on the 70th minute with Scott Vernon coming on to replace Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro. Town had seen a lot of the ball during the game but when it was put forward it wasn't sticking with the Town forwards and the pressure was back on the visitors.
Colchester attempted to counter attack through Moncur, he burst over the halfway line with Grimmer in attendance, he attempted to clip his heels to stop him but Moncur kept going, when play finally broke down ref Woolmer called Grimmer over and showed him the yellow card.
With just over 10 minutes remaining Town made their final change with Jordan Clark coming on to replace Shaun Whalley in a like for like swap.
Town finished the game with a bit of an attacking possession and when the ball was on the edge of he box with Cole the visitors had numbers, Clark was in space to his left but Cole elected to shoot and it was blocked.