A late equaliser from Diaz Wright earned Colchester United a 1-1 draw in their pre-season friendly at Vanarama National League side Dagenham and Redbridge tonight.

Wright slotted home neatly with five minutes to go after latching onto Aaron Collins' pass to ensure a share of the spoils for the U's, at Victoria Road.

Colchester had trailed for more than an hour to Michael Cheek's low free-kick, scored just before the midway point of the first half before Wright popped up with a timely equaliser.

A host of Colchester players got an hour of match practice under their belt, in their build-up to the new League Two season.

The game started in lively fashion, with both sides looking bright in the opening stages.

Harry Pell fired over from the edge of the area for Colchester inside two minutes following a good build-up, while a minute later at the other end Lamar Reynolds headed over at the far post after Matt Robinson had delivered a deep cross.

Courtney Senior played a great one-two with Brennan Dickenson before his shot was saved on the line by Daggers keeper Lewis Moore and Mikael Mandron curled a shot inches, after good play by Pell had set him up.

But U’s keeper Dillon Barnes made a good save at his near post to deny Luke Pennell’s header from a corner.

And Colchester fell behind just before the midway point of the first half when former Braintree Town striker Michael Cheek drilled home a low free-kick from the edge of the area, after Barnes had been penalised for deliberate handball.

Dagenham grew in confidence after that and went in search of a second goal, getting the ball into the Colchester area at any opportunity.

Barnes plucked a looping header out of the sky from Elliot Romain, who also drilled in a 25-yard shot that flashed inches wide soon after as the home side pressed.

Colchester tried to respond and Pell’s header flashed just wide from Dickenson’s cross.

But Reynolds missed a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 just before half-time when he raced into the area but badly scuffed his shot wide, as the U’s went in at the break trailing.

Colchester came close to equalising five minutes into the second half when Pell’s powerful near-post header flew over, from Dickenson’s cross.

The U’s sent on Ollie Kensdale and Aaron Collins on the hour mark for Senior and Luke Prosser, as they looked to give more of their players additional game time.

Moore turned away Mandron’s fierce shot at his near post soon after and from the resulting corner, Kensdale’s header came back off the bar as Colchester pressed for an equaliser.

Substitute Brandon Comley's low effort was saved by keeper Moore as the clock ticked down, before Wright levelled.

Kane Vincent-Young forced keeper Moore into a near-post save soon after, as the U's played out a draw.

COLCHESTER UNITED: D Barnes (sub Gilmartin, 73), Eastman (sub A Barnes, 73), Prosser (sub Kensdale, 61), Kent, Jackson (sub Jackson, 73), Lapslie (sub Clampin, 73), Pell (sub Wright, 73), Senior (sub Collins, 61), Dickenson (sub Vincent-Young), Nouble (sub Ogedi-Uzokwe, 68), Mandron (sub Gondoh, 73).