Colchester United head coach John McGreal felt his side's 1-1 draw with Port Vale this afternoon was a fair outcome.

The U's had the better of the first half in the League Two encounter, with Sammie Szmodics' well-taken goal giving them a narrow advantage at the break.

But Vale improved in the second half and hit back through Marcus Harness's header with 15 minutes remaining, to claim a share of the spoils at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

The draw leaves Colchester a point off the play-off places, ahead of their Boxing Day trip to play Crawley Town.

McGreal said: “I thought 1-1 was about right.

“It was the classic game of two halves – we’ve done particularly well in the first half but they’ve come back at us in the second half.

“We had a very good first half with good opportunities.

“They started well and had a good chance within the first five minutes but I thought that after that we grew into the game and created some good opportunities.

“We could have gone 2-0 up just before half-time with Drey (Wright) but didn’t and credit to Port Vale in the second half.

“They’ve been on a similar run to ourselves and you can see why."

Colchester's leading scorer Szmodics was in the thick of the action again.

In addition to scoring, he also went close on two other occasions before that in the first half and in addition, hit the bar immediately after Vale scored their equaliser.

“He’s in the goals," said McGreal.

“It was a great touch by Sammie to get away from the defender and draw the keeper out to score.

“I’m sure he’ll be disappointed with his touch just after they scored to put us 2-1 up."