COLCHESTER United boss John McGreal says he was proud of his side's second-half recovery after they fought back to claim a 3-3 draw against bottom club Notts County.

After Sammie Szmodics had given them an early lead, the U's found themselves 3-1 down after half an hour at the JobServe Community Stadium, following three goals in the space of 15 minutes for the visitors.

However, Mikael Mandron got the hosts back in it in first-half stoppage-time and Harry Pell's second-half penalty salvaged a point for Colchester.

McGreal said: “We played some great football in the second half and the boys were under pressure, because they can feel it.

“They read comments and different things on social media and it was a pressure game for them today to try and go and win.

“They could have clammed up and not produced a good footballing display but I thought they were excellent.

"I'm proud of the way they came back from 3-1 and I commend them for that.

"I also commend the South Stand support, because they were fantastic and the drum kept going.

"They kept going for us and the fans got right behind us and it definitely helped.

“We’re frustrated that we didn’t win it.

“We’ve asked the boys for a bit of a reaction after what happened over the festive period and we made a terrific start.

“I thought we were in control and to concede three goals at home is disappointing.

“They scored three goals in 15 minutes and I stood there and I’m thinking ‘what’s going on here?’ because they were really, really poor goals.

“But the boys showed fantastic battling qualities and we reacted really, really well to going 3-1 down.

“We got a bit of good fortune but the boys have earned it and I’m a firm believer that if you work hard, you get your rewards.

“We scored three goals and every time we attacked, I thought we looked a threat.

“We have to balance that with the defending side of it because once or twice, we did look a bit open.”

Notts County boss Neal Ardley was upset that referee Charles Breakspear awarded Colchester a penalty for a foul on Courtney Senior.

However, his U's counterpart McGreal said they deserved any fortune that came their way.

He added: “We’ll take the penalty, because we get so many things go against us and we always come out and say ‘we’ll be honest with this and that’.

“It’s about time we had a little bit of luck.

“We had a little bit of fortune (with the second goal) but I thought we worked ever so hard in the first half and created some good opportunities."