Promotion-chasing Colchester United extended their unbeaten run in League Two to five matches after playing out a 0-0 draw with struggling Chesterfield this afternoon.

The U's, who have now lost only two of their last 16 league matches, had to settle for a point following a hard-fought encounter, in front of 257 U's fans at the Proact Stadium.

Colchester head coach John McGreal picked an unchanged side for the fourth successive game and also named the same substitutes, with Kane Vincent-Young and Kyel Reid both passed fit to play.

Ryan Inniss missed out again due to a shoulder injury while Doug Loft was not considered fit enough to return following a torn bicep.

The game started in open fashion and Colchester looked threatening early on.

Spireites defender Sam Hird picked up an early booking for a foul on Mikael Mandron 25 yards from goal.

And soon after, Chesterfield keeper Jake Eastwood did brilliantly to push away Sammie Szmodics' first-time effort from ten yards after Ryan Jackson had picked him out with a cross from the left.

But the U’s were forced to defend after that, with goalkeeper Sam Walker making a good save with his legs to deny Joe Rowley at his near post after Andy Kellett had opened up the visitors’ defence.

Chesterfield looked the more likely to break the deadlock before half-time after that, with Walker easily saving from Andy Kellett’s 20-yard strike, before Rowley missed a sitter from two yards when he had looked certain to score after U’s defender Kane Vincent-Young had sliced Kristian Dennis’s cross high into the air inside his own six-yard box.

Jak McCourt’s low cross well held onto by Walker inside his own six-yard box and Rowley turned well before firing a shot well wide from 20 yards out just before the break, as a competitive first half finished goal-less.

Chesterfield started the second half strongly and in the opening seconds after the restart, Jerome Binnom-Williams' 20-yard strike flashed inches wide of the post.

Binnom-Williams was then in the thick of the action again soon after, with Frankie Kent forced to make a fine last-ditch tackle to deny the left-back in the area.

But Colchester did look dangerous on the counter attack and just before the hour mark, Eastwood parried away Drey Wright's effort after he had been picked out by Mandron in the area.

Szmodics' long-range effort flashed wide but the U's leading scorer was then replaced by Sean Murray and Kurtis Guthrie was sent on for Mandron with seven minutes remaining, as the visitors searched for a winner.

But neither side was able to find an all-important winner, as the U's picked up a point on their travels.