A LAST-GASP penalty denied Colchester United victory as they drew 1-1 with Wealdstone in their final pre-season friendly of the summer this afternoon.

The U's had led for the vast majority of their behind-closed-doors friendly at the JobServe Community Stadium, after Noah Chilvers had given them a seventh-minute lead against their National League opponents.

But Josh Umerah tucked away a 90th-minute penalty to earn a share of the spoils for the visitors, after he had been fouled by U's substitute Sam Cornish in the area.

It was Colchester’s final pre-season friendly before the new League Two season gets underway, next Saturday.

The likes of Shamal George, Luke Hannant, Kwame Poku and Dean Gerken were all missing from the squad.

But the U’s gave five trialists a chance to impress, as they look to earn deals with the club.

One of Colchester’s trialists, goalkeeper Trialist F, made an early save for Colchester when he denied Umerah.

But the U’s took a seventh-minute lead when Chilvers controlled on the edge of the area before striking a sweet shot past the Stones’ trialist keeper.

Wealdstone almost responded straight away when Rhys Browne's effort struck a post, following a swift counter-attack.

An evenly-contested first half ensued after that, with both sides patiently probing away for opportunities.

Defences were largely on top though until half-time, with the U’s back three of Tom Eastman, Tommy Smith and Luke Chambers looking solid and well protected by Cole Skuse.

Colchester’s trialist keeper easily collected Browne’s effort just before the break, as the hosts went in at half-time ahead.

The U’s made changes at the break, bringing on Trialist G and Trialist E for Trialist F and Ryan Clampin respectively.

Chilvers, playing in a more advanced midfield role, went close in the early stages of the second half, lifting an effort just over the bar from around 20 yards out.

But Wealdstone also threatened just after half-time, with Dennon Lewis cutting in from the left before letting fly with a long-range strike that Trialist G palmed away at full-stretch for a corner.

Sears’ cross into the six-yard box only just evaded Chilvers after a covering Wealdstone defender snuffed out the danger.

And although Umerah tried his luck with a low drive that Trialist G easily saved, the U’s dealt with everything the visitors had to throw at them.

Substitute Samson Tovide forced the Wealdstone keeper to push over at his near post for a corner with 12 minutes remaining, as Colchester tried to wrap up victory.

And they were only denied them a second goal when Brendan Wiredu's looping strike was kept out by the woodwork.

But Umerah converted a late, late penalty to earn Wealdstone a draw and deny the U's victory, as their thoughts now turn to the opening day of the League Two season.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Trialist F (sub Trialist G), Eastman (sub Terry, 86), Smith (sub Beadle, 80), Chambers (sub Trialist A, 76), Welch-Hayes (sub Coxe, 70), Skuse (sub Wiredu, 68), Chilvers (sub Trialist H, 76), Clampin (sub Trialist E), Judge (sub Cornish, 80), Nouble (sub Thomas, 86), Sears (sub Tovide, 70).

Wealdstone: Trialist A, Cook, Lewis, Tavares, Eleftheriou, Okimo, Dyer, Buse, Umerah, Browne, Fasanmade.