Colchester United started 2018 with a draw after playing out a goal-less draw with Cambridge United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, this afternoon.

The U's extended their unbeaten run to six matches after their second successive 0-0 draw in League Two, following a competitive and hard-fought clash.

Colchester head coach John McGreal made two changes to his starting line-up for the visit of Cambridge, the first time he had altered his team in five matches.

Defender Cole Kpekawa was recalled for the first time since October 14 in place and Sean Murray was handed his first start since October 21, as the U’s switching to a 3-4-2-1 formation.

Brandon Comley and Kyel Reid both dropped to the bench, with Cameron James also among the substitutes.

Cambridge went close in the eighth minute when Uche Ikpeazu lofted the ball wide across goal and wide at the far post, after Jake Carroll had crossed deep from the left.

But five minutes later, Drey Wright volleyed into the side netting after nipping in after Leon Legge had allowed Tom Eastman’s long pass to run past him in his own area.

Frankie Kent stabbed a chance wide for Colchester soon after and just before half hour, Wright fired straight at Cambridge keeper David Forde after being released by Tom Lapslie’s through pass, with U’s boss John McGreal claiming a penalty for a foul on the attacker as he shot towards goal.

Wright’s header was then parried away by Forde after Cambridge had failed to properly clear away Ryan Jackson’s long throw into the area.

And Wright was in the thick of the action six minutes before the break when his first-time shot flew wide from 20 yards after Mikael Mandron had laid the ball off to him.

Colchester had the better of the goalscoring opportunities in the first half but Cambridge got plenty of players behind the ball, making it difficult for the hosts to carve out clearcut chances.

And the visitors started the second half brightly, with Jevani Brown firing straight at U’s keeper Sam Walker from a good position after being fed by Ikpeazu.

Colchester had a penalty shout just when Kane Vincent-Young tumbled under former U’s youngster Medy Elito’s challenge in the area but referee Charles Breakspear waved away their claims.

The U’s made the first change on the hour mark when Kurtis Guthrie was sent on for Wright.

But Cambridge almost took the lead when Walker dived full stretch to his right to push away Brown’s goalbound shot, after the lively Elito had created the chance.

And the hosts were forced to defend for longer periods after that as the clock ticked down, as Cambridge looked the more likely to grab a winner.

But with 15 minutes remaining, Tom Eastman’s first-time effort whistled inches past the post for Colchester after Kent had picked him out in the area.

Guthrie escaped Jake Carroll’s tackle and drove towards goal before firing a low shot just wide of the far post and five minutes of stoppage-time were added at the end but the points were shared.