A late penalty condemned Colchester United to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United tonight.

Substitute Chris Porter's 87th-minute spot-kick inflicted a second successive defeat on the U's.

Both sides struggled to find openings in the first half but Sheffield United looking the more dangerous.

U's keeper Sam Walker easily saved John Brayford’s far-post header, while Ben Davies’ glancing header flashed wide from Jamie Murphy’s delivery.

Colchester made a double substitution at half-time, sending on Craig Eastmond and Alie Sesay for Brian Wilson and Clinton Morrison.

But it was Sheffield United who looked the more dangerous of the two sides, with the lively Jose Baxter’s superb curling effort came back off the foot of the post.

U’s keeper Walker then made a wonderful reflex save to deny Davies from point-blank range from Brayford’s cross, as the Blades looked the most likely to break the deadlock.

But after Freddie Sears had fouled Davies in the area, Porter stepped up to score from the spot and leave the U's beaten.

For a full match report and pictures from the U's game with Sheffield United, see Wednesday's Daily Gazette.