TEN-MAN Colchester United battled back to rescue a point at Yeovil Town on a dramatic afternoon at Huish Park.

The U's looked like they were heading to defeat against their struggling hosts when Jake Gray fired the Glovers ahead early in the second half and goalkeeper Dillon Barnes was sent off seconds later, for violent conduct.

However, Tom Eastman equalised for Colchester with 15 minutes to go to salvage a point from the game and keep their League Two play-off hopes alive, with two games remaining.

The U's are two points off the top seven.

It was a largely frustrating afternoon for the U's, who were not at their best in what was an error-ridden, largely nervy encounter.

Colchester boss John McGreal was forced to make one change to the side that beat Grimsby Town 1-0, on Good Friday.

Kane Vincent-Young dropped out of the starting line-up due to injury, with Abo Eisa replacing him in the side and Brennan Dickenson switching to left-back as a result.

Diaz Wright was added to the subs bench as a result of Eisa’s promotion to the starting line-up.

Colchester started the day two points off the play-off places with three games to go, looking for a vital win in their bid to clinch a top-seven place.

However, they came up against a Yeovil side battling to beat the drop, near the foot of the League Two table.

Colchester had an early opportunity when Dickenson’s header from Eisa's corner flew straight at Glovers keeper Nathan Baxter, in the seventh minute.

But Yeovil came even closer to scoring in the 18th minute through Bevis Mugabi, who saw his far-post header from Tristan Abrahams’ corner comes back off the outside of a post.

Colchester looked for openings in a scrappy first period and midway through the first half, Frank Nouble sent a shot just wide for the U's from inside the area, seconds after Baxter had been forced to push away Eisa’s low drive.

But it was a largely frustrating first half for both sides, with plenty of of mis-placed passes and little in the way of quality.

The U’s were looking for an improved display in the second half and they enjoyed plenty of possession, in the minutes that followed half-time.

But in the space of a few seconds, things then unravelled dramatically for Colchester.

The U’s fell behind eight minutes after the break when Gray’s rather hopeful low 20-yard effort flashed past keeper Barnes and into his near post.

In the seconds that followed the goal, Barnes became embroiled in an altercation with Yeovil’s Tristan Abrahams in the six-yard box and was given his marching orders.

The red card meant that Barnes became the first U’s goalkeeper to be sent off since Dean Gerken was sent off against Barnsley, in 2008.

It left Colchester looking for an equaliser with only ten men and goalkeeper Ethan Ross was sent on for Sam Saunders, for his U’s debut.

The visitors almost responded immediately to the setback, with Frankie Kent’s header from Dickenson’s corner coming back off the crossbar.

Colchester almost fell further behind when Thomas James’ 25-yard effort was brilliantly tipped over by Ross for a corner.

But the U’s were back on level terms with 15 minutes remaining when Tom Eastman neatly side-footed home from a Dickenson corner.

Substitute Luke Norris sent a free header straight at Baxter from Dickenson’s cross as Colchester looked for a winner, with six minutes of stoppage-time played.

But they were unable to find the crucial goal they were looking for, as they had to be content with a point.