Colchester came from behind to earn a point against Sheffield United.

The Blades took a first-half lead when Ched Evans's cross found Will Hoskins, who lifted the ball over Ben Williams.

The U's had created few chances before Steven Gillespie's strike ricocheted in off the post to bring them level.

Gillespie almost put the hosts ahead moments later but keeper Steve Simonsen got a hand to his effort, while Evans saw his drive go agonisingly wide at the other end.

The Blades are now two points clear of third-placed city rivals Sheffield Wednesday, while the U's sit seven points off the play-offs.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Colchester United manager John Ward told BBC Essex:

"Two good teams, not a great deal between them. They've got a £3m centre-forward and a lot of very good players and they showed that at times.

"But we've stood up and matched them. We stayed with the game, even going a goal down.

"We didn't get pulled around. In the second half, the goal restored that confidence with the ball, and we gave them quite a number of problems.

"I thought it was a very, very good game of football all the way through."

Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson tells BBC Radio Sheffield:

"It was a very tough match, you have to say that prior to the game we never thought we would get any favours here.

"We were disappointed in the goal we conceded, not actually with the finish, it was an absolutely magnificent finish I have to say, but the way we have given the ball (away) in a defensive area.

"We've had the lion share of possession, played some good stuff, got in good positions, but we haven't tested the keeper enough.

"It's a point and a point away, it could be an important point come the end of the season."

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (3)

Colchester United

  • 01 Williams
  • 04 Okuonghae
  • 18 Eastman
  • 20 Wilson
  • 25 White Booked
  • 10 Izzet Booked
  • 14 Bond
  • 22 Wordsworth Booked
  • 09 Gillespie
  • 15 Odejayi
  • 16 Henderson (Duguid - 89' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Rose
  • 06 Heath
  • 27 Duguid
  • 07 Vincent
  • 11 Sears

Sheffield Utd

  • 01 Simonsen
  • 02 Lowton
  • 19 Maguire
  • 30 Williams
  • 32 Hill Booked
  • 08 Doyle
  • 14 Williamson
  • 28 Quinn
  • 07 Hoskins (Cresswell - 70' )
  • 09 Evans Booked
  • 21 Porter (Beattie - 81' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Howard
  • 26 Egan
  • 04 Montgomery
  • 10 Beattie
  • 17 Cresswell
Ref: Kettle
Att: 4,572

Match Stats

Shots

13 8

On target

7 5

Corners

4 6

Fouls

7 3

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:15 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +1:29

Ched Evans fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Ben Williams makes a save.

90:00 +1:29 Booking

Booking Anthony Wordsworth receives a caution.

90:00 +0:56

Lee Williamson fouled by Anthony Wordsworth, the ref awards a free kick.

89:34

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Lee Williamson from the left by-line to the near post, Ben Williams makes a save.

88:26 Substitution

Substitution Karl Duguid comes on in place of Ian Henderson.

85:35

Direct free kick taken by Magnus Okuonghae.

85:35 Booking

Booking The referee books Kemal Izzet for unsporting behaviour.

85:29 Booking

Booking Booking for Ched Evans for unsporting behaviour.

85:02

Richard Cresswell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Gillespie.

81:20

Matthew Hill fouled by Kayode Odejayi, the ref awards a free kick. Steve Simonsen takes the free kick.

80:35 Substitution

Substitution James Beattie joins the action as a substitute, replacing Chris Porter.

79:14

Kayode Odejayi takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.

76:08

Ian Henderson takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.

69:47

Brian Wilson makes a clearance.

69:47 Substitution

Substitution Will Hoskins leaves the field to be replaced by Richard Cresswell.

69:47

Inswinging corner taken by Lee Williamson from the left by-line played to the near post,

69:31

Ched Evans takes a shot. Ben Williams makes a save.

68:21

Corner taken by Anthony Wordsworth from the right by-line to the near post, Stephen Quinn makes a clearance.

66:35

Steven Gillespie produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.

61:31

Steven Gillespie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Hill. Direct free kick taken by Michael Doyle.

58:42

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ian Henderson from the left by-line, Marcus Williams manages to make a clearance.

58:16

Steven Gillespie takes a shot. Harry Maguire gets a block in.

57:08

Steven Gillespie produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.

55:42

Kayode Odejayi provided the assist for the goal.

55:42 Goal scored

Goal! - Steven Gillespie - Colchester 1 - 1 Sheff Utd Steven Gillespie scores a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Colchester 1-1 Sheff Utd.

53:30

Shot from deep inside the area by Stephen Quinn goes over the bar.

52:20

Free kick taken by Matthew Lowton.

52:20 Booking

Booking John White receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.

51:52

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Matthew Lowton by John White.

46:44

Ched Evans has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the goal.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +2:00 Half time

Half Time The half-time whistle blows.

45:00 +0:43

Shot from outside the area by Lee Williamson misses to the left of the target.

42:14

Chris Porter is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Williams.

40:19

John White gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Will Hoskins. Direct free kick taken by Harry Maguire.

31:41 Goal scored

Goal! - Will Hoskins - Colchester 0 - 1 Sheff Utd Will Hoskins gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Colchester 0-1 Sheff Utd.

29:45

Steven Gillespie takes a shot. Save made by Steve Simonsen.

26:59

Unfair challenge on Anthony Wordsworth by Michael Doyle results in a free kick. Steven Gillespie produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.

26:28

Magnus Okuonghae takes the free kick.

26:28 Booking

Booking Matthew Hill receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

25:56

Matthew Hill gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kayode Odejayi.

22:31

Kemal Izzet takes a shot. Blocked by Matthew Lowton.

21:57

Corner taken right-footed by Ian Henderson from the left by-line to the near post, Marcus Williams manages to make a clearance.

21:34

Andy Bond takes a shot. Matthew Hill gets a block in.

19:27

The referee blows for offside against Ched Evans. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Williams.

18:39

Corner from the left by-line taken by Lee Williamson, save made by Ben Williams.

17:49

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Stephen Quinn, clearance made by Kayode Odejayi.

15:57

Stephen Quinn takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Brian Wilson.

15:21

Inswinging corner taken by Lee Williamson, Ben Williams makes a save.

14:56

Stephen Quinn takes a shot. Andy Bond gets a block in.

13:15

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee Williamson by Kemal Izzet. Michael Doyle restarts play with the free kick.

11:43

Foul by John White on Will Hoskins, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Lee Williamson, clearance made by Magnus Okuonghae.

10:15

Shot from inside the area by Anthony Wordsworth clears the bar.

9:12

Corner taken by Ian Henderson, Steven Gillespie takes a shot. Blocked by Marcus Williams.

2:15

Ian Henderson takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.

0:53

Chris Porter takes a shot. Save by Ben Williams.

0:00

The match gets underway.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers