Liam McAlinden’s first Fleetwood Town goal wasn’t enough to give Fleetwood Town victory on the road, a brace from Gavin Massey inflicting a fourth successive away defeat.
Town hardly escaped their own final third in the opening quarter hour but grabbed the lead on the break.
Stephen Schumacher’s smart thinking turned defence into attack in an instant, sending a long ball out left for McAlinden, making his first start since joining on loan from Wolves.
Colchester keeper Sam Walker looked to close down his man but McAlinden’s touch was superb, a perfectly placed lob handing Town the advantage.
The goal changed the game, Colchester suddenly on the back foot.
Town should have got to the break unchallenged.
But five minutes from half time the home side hauled themselves level.
Sanchez Watt had caused problems all afternoon, twisting and turning around the Town defence.
His ball from the left should have been covered, Danny Andrew losing his man, Gavin Massey stealing in to slot low past Chris Maxwell.
Town could have been back ahead within seconds of the restart, Antoni Sarcevic with a clever flicked header from Steven Schumacher’s corner, Walker alert to scramble the ball away.
But they couldn’t get a grip after the break, struggling to create openings and allowing Colchester to grow in confidence.
And 15 minutes from the break the home side grabbed the lead.
Gareth Evans surrendered possession all too easily with a under-hit pass, Colchester breaking and Massey allowed space to launch an 18 yard drive, Maxwell stretching but unable to keep it out.
Town couldn’t find the creative edge to claw their way back, substitute Stephen Dobbie coming closest to an equaliser but unable to get any real direction or power on his shot from David Ball’ shot.
In added time Dobbie rattled the woodwork from 20 yards but Town weren’t to be rescued late by the on loan Crystal Palace striker, a fourth consecutive defeat on the road.