IT was difficult to know quite what to make of Colchester United’s 3-3 draw with Notts County.

On the plus side, they showed commendable spirit and character to recover from the shock of being 3-1 down after just half an hour at home to League Two’s bottom side to rescue a point.

Lesser sides might have wilted or gone into their shell at such a predicament, especially on the back of other disappointing results.

There was only one side that looked like winning once Harry Pell had equalised from the spot midway through the second half, although disappointingly for all of their pressure after that the U’s failed to carve out too many clearcut opportunities.

Nevertheless, given their two-goal deficit going into first-half stoppage-time, a point was pretty welcome.

But any euphoria created by Colchester’s spirited revival and their improved second-half display cannot mask the fact that they found themselves staring down the barrel of a home defeat against a Notts County side with just one away win to their name all season.

The shoddy manner of the goals Colchester conceded was hugely disappointing, not least because each of them were in the main down to lapses in concentration.

The five goals they have shipped in their last two matches have been out of character and are a far cry from the defensive solidity the U’s have shown throughout the majority of this season.

John McGreal had called for his side to get back to basics in the aftermath of their New Year’s Day loss to ten-man Crawley Town.

But the errors made in conceding three goals in quick succession against Notts County suggest that the U’s boss did not get his wish.

It has been a gruelling and largely disappointing period for Colchester.

They have claimed just two points from a possible 12 in their last four games and have won only one of their last six matches.

The U’s now have a full week to prepare for their trip to play Port Vale this weekend, where they will be aiming to get their promotion push back on track.

Despite their dip in form, Colchester are only out of the top seven on goal difference and are just three points off the automatic promotion places.

But they can ill-afford too many more slip-ups like those witnessed in recent games, if they are to stay in contention with the sides above them.