COLCHESTER United interim head coach Hayden Mullins admitted his side’s 1-1 draw with Barrow this afternoon felt more like a defeat after a late goal denied them a crucial victory.

It looked as though the U’s were heading for a precious win in their battle to stay in League Two, after Callum Harriott had given them a first-half lead against a Barrow side who started the day one point above them in the League Two table.

But just when it looked as though Colchester were heading for victory, Barrow substitute Tom Beadling struck a late equaliser to deny the hosts all three points, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

The draw leaves the U’s six points above the relegation zone, with six games remaining.

Mullins said: “It’s another point and we build again.

“We should have won but it’s not something that they can linger on.

“We’ve got another game against Oldham to come next Friday and we’re going to have to look at this, where we went wrong, the positives from the first half and put it all together to get a performance, on Friday.

“It was a lovely finish by Callum and before that, we looked in control and looked like were taking the game to them in the first half, which was really good.

“All the bits that we wanted them to do came out and it was just disappointing that we didn’t hold on.

“At the moment, we have to try and take all of the positives we can.

“Even going into the second half, we should have definitely had a penalty when Courtney (Senior) went down in the area and that wasn’t given.

“Barrow changed things and threw a lot of players forward and brought a lot of players on.

“They went for it and they had nothing to lose.

“They threw caution to the wind and threw as many balls into our box as they could.

“We switched off for half a second and they score so it’s disappointing now and it feels like a loss but it isn’t – it’s another point to where you want to get to.

“We have to try and build on that as much as we can.”

Mullins felt Colchester should have been ahead before Harriott’s goal, after Brendan Wiredu had a goal controversially disallowed for a foul on Barrow keeper, Joel Dixon.

“For me, it’s a clear goal,” said Mullins.

“We’re all a little bit perplexed as to why it wasn’t given.

“I don’t think Brendan has even challenged the goalkeeper – the ball’s fallen on his head and it’s gone into the back of the net.”