Colchester United saw off nine-man Canvey Island in a penalty shoot-out to progress in the Essex Senior Cup.

The U’s won 7-6 on spot-kicks after being held to a draw by the Ryman League side after 90 minutes of the fourth-round tie, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Steve Sheehan hit the bar with his penalty attempt to finally decide a fiercely-contested tie, where Canvey Island pushed their League One hosts all the way.

The likes of Sammie Szmodics, George Elokobi and Macauley Bonne all featured in Colchester’s starting line-up along with full-back Kane Vincent-Young, who made a welcome return after two-and-a-half months out with an Achilles injury.

Indeed, nine of the U’s side that played against Canvey had first-team experience.

Goalkeeper James Bransgrove made a welcome return between the sticks, playing his first game in more than six months after a long injury lay-off.

Drey Wright’s effort deflected off Lawrence Yiga and bounced off the top of the crossbar and Szmodics’ low 20-yard strike flashed inches wide, as the U’s pressed early on.

But Colchester found themselves behind, eight minutes before the break.

After the U’s had failed to clear Glenn Poole’s free-kick into the area, John Curran turned and planted a low shot past Bransgrove to give Canvey a shock lead.

The U’s almost replied seconds later through Jack Curtis, whose shot struck the crossbar before bouncing down on the line and Szmodics’ low cross-shot flashed inches past the far post but the hosts went in at the break behind.

Vincent-Young was replaced by Marley Andrews at the break for the U’s and with the second half only ten minutes old, Canvey were reduced to ten men.

Veteran Tony Stokes was dismissed following a fracas with Tom Lapslie who was only booked for the incident, which left the Gulls players and coaching staff outraged.

And the visitors were left even more dejected when Colchester equalised on the hour.

After Canvey goalkeeper Gough had parried Tosin Olufemi’s low shot, Szmodics fired the rebound back towards goal and the ball went in off the covering Sheehan on the line.

Despite the setbacks Canvey kept battling and almost regained their lead midway through the second half when Harrison Chatting’s 35-yard strike rattled the crossbar.

However, the U’s went ahead with 16 minutes remaining when Szmodics showed smart footwork in the area before planting an accurate low shot past Gough and into the net.

But after Bransgrove turned over substitute George Sykes’ spectacular effort, Poole netted a dramatic 90th-minute equalise for Canvey Island when his free-kick deflected through a crowd of players and sailed in.

The Gulls were reduced to nine men in the closing seconds when full-back Ashley Dumas was dismissed for a second bookable offence, before the game went to penalties and the U’s prevailed.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Bransgrove, Vincent-Young (sub Andrews, 46), Elokobi, James, Olufemi, Lapslie, Curtis (sub Regis, 79), Sembie-Ferris, Wright, Szmodics, Bonne.

Substitutes (not used): Wilson, Akinwande, Robinson.

Canvey Island: Gough, Pitty (sub Halle, 79), Dumas, Lawson, Sheehan, Yiga, Curran (sub Adeniji, 62), Poole, Chatting, Tuohy (sub Sykes, 62), Stokes.

Substitutes (not used): Agyakwa, Miller-Rooney.