COLCHESTER United drew their League Two opener with Port Vale, on Saturday.

Luke Norris cancelled out Tom Pope's early penalty in the 1-1 draw, played out in front of a crowd of 3,729 at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Here are our five talking points from the season curtain-raiser.

A familiar feeling

COLCHESTER United have made a habit of drawing on the opening day of the season, over recent years.

So it was perhaps no surprise that their 2019-20 League Two curtain-raiser against Port Vale should end all square.

The U’s 1-1 stalemate with Vale was their fifth opening-day draw in the last six seasons but they felt they did enough in the second half to win it.

There was a slight feeling of disappointment after this result in contrast to last season’s League Two opener, a goal-less draw at Notts County which at the time was seen as a more than creditable result.

But the Magpies’ eventful relegation to the National League later in that campaign shows that it is perhaps unwise to read too much into early results.

Vale’s opening-day results have been pretty consistent, too – they have not lost a league curtain-raiser since 2004.

Terrific Tom

COLCHESTER United fans are still acclimatising to seeing their side play in blue.

That, coupled with the presence of several new signings, gave their season opener against Port Vale a somewhat unfamiliar feel.

Four of the U’s summer signings were on show for the first time in the league but it was their longest-serving player who arguably stole the show.

Tom Eastman was outstanding throughout for Colchester, dealing superbly with the threat of Tom Pope and a rock at the back.

The highlight of his excellent display came in the second half in the shape of a brilliantly-timed tackle in his own area to foil Vale substitute Mark Cullen, who looked almost certain to score.

Philosophical McGreal

WITH John McGreal now embarking on his fourth season as Colchester United’s head coach, his side have carved themselves a reputation for playing attractive, positive football.

McGreal likes to ideally see his team build from the back, which is why the U’s head coach will presumably not be dwelling too much on the mistake that led to Port Vale’s opener.

The fifth-minute penalty that Vale were awarded came as a consequence of Colchester trying to play their possession game, albeit deep inside their own half of the pitch.

But while McGreal was disappointed to see the goal go in, especially so early in the game, he is also philosophical about why it happened.

“At times, there are going to be mistakes which you don’t want to happen but I’m not going to stop the boys from doing it,” said the U’s boys.

Proud moment

A HOME-GROWN Colchester United player making his debut almost goes unnoticed these days, such is their impressive quota of academy debutants over recent years.

But Andre Hasanally’s appearance as a second-half substitute against Port Vale was nonetheless another significant watershed moment for the U’s and their youth set-up.

The 17-year-old has enjoyed an impressive pre-season and has earned his place in the first-team squad.

Hasanally had been knocking on the door of John McGreal’s squad last season before an untimely injury temporarily put paid to his rapid progress.

Nevertheless, he is now very much involved and almost capped his first-ever U’s appearance with a goal, near the end.

Lethal Luke

LUKE Norris started the last campaign among the goals – so the Colchester United striker will be hoping that his opening-day strike against Port Vale means more early-season profit.

The U’s striker was in the right place at the right time to score his side’s equaliser against Port Vale and has looked sharp in pre-season.

The former Swindon Town striker will be looking to enjoy a more consistent campaign this time around, having been disrupted by injury last year.