STEVE Ball rates Callum Harriott's wonder strike in the 1-1 draw at Crawley Town as the best he's seen in his time at the club.

Harriott struck home a magnificent goal, curling in a superb left-foot strike from long range to give the U's the lead in the League Two clash, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

But Jordan Tunnicliffe slammed home an equaliser for Crawley seven minutes later from close range, to earn the visitors a point.

Colchester improved in the second half and both keepers were in fine form, as the points were shared.

Ball said: “We were a little bit edgy in the first half but it was a fantastic goal by Callum (Harriott).

“As he comes in off the right side, he’s got it in him to produce goals like that and it was a stunning goal.

“It was probably the best I’ve seen in my time at the club – I thought it was an absolutely brilliant goal.

“I think 1-1 was about right.

“I thought Crawley played really well in the first half and they came at us.

“After what happened at Exeter (losing 6-1), there was always going to be a human reaction to a disappointing night like that and I’ve given them loads of advice this week on moving on.

“I thought we got into those areas well at times but just lacked that last bit of quality to make something happen but we were much better in the second half and I thought we controlled the majority of it.

"We secured the ball better and got our wide men on the ball, which is what we do really well when we're effective.

"We have to secure the ball better than that to allow it to happen.

"When we did that, we created some really good chances to score.

"You're obviously going to be a bit nervy towards the end of the game where the other team thrive on set pieces.

"That's how they scored their goal and we have to be better than that, at set pieces.

"Dean Gerken made two brilliant saves, in the last five minutes."

Skipper Harry Pell and defender Tommy Smith both missed the game against Crawley.

Pell was ruled out after suffering a knee injury in training, while Smith is self isolating after his wife tested positive for Covid-19.

"We were missing key personnel in the set piece area," added Ball.

"Harry Pell is a big plus for us on set pieces as is Tommy Smith but that's not to take anything away from the people that played.

"I thought we did OK but we have to make sure that the first contact is better and that for any set piece, there's concentration all of the time."