A late equaliser from Dave Worrall denied Colchester United their first win of 2018 after Port Vale came from behind twice to secure a 2-2 draw at Vale Park.

Former Southend United attacker Worrall diverted Luke Hannant's shot into the net with three minutes remaining to prevent the U's from claiming victory, extending Colchester's winless run in League Two to six matches in the process.

Worrall had earlier scored to cancel out Courtney Senior's early strike and then equalised again late on, following Drey Wright's goal on the stroke of half-tikme.

Colchester head coach John McGreal made two changes to his starting line-up for the Vale clash.

Youngster Senior was handed his first-ever professional start on the left flank and Mikael Mandron was also recalled to the team.

Kurtis Guthrie dropped to the bench, while Ryan Inniss was ruled out due to an ankle injury.

Colchester started well and Mandron’s looping header from Wright’s cross into the area was easily dealt with by keeper Rob Lainton, in the opening minutes.

But Vale also looked threatening early on and experienced midfielder Michael Tonge almost gave them the lead when he pounced on a loose ball and burst into the area before drilling a low shot towards goal that keeper Sam Walker did well to hold.

Colchester made an early breakthrough though when they took a 12th minute lead.

After the U’s had played the ball from right to left in the final third and Murray had laid the ball off, Senior’s low left-foot shot crept into at the far post on his first-ever league start.

Mandron headed over from Murray’s inswinging free-kick into the area and Murray also went close, as Colchester’s attacking play caused Vale plenty of problems.

But Vale were back on level terms just after the half hour when Worrall drilled a fine low shot past Walker at his near post after controlling Cristian Montano’s fine pass well in the area.

The hosts came close to taking the lead late in the first half when Walker did brilliantly to push away a goalbound header from Antony Kay, who seconds later had another headed effort that flashed inches wide of the far post.

However, in the fourth minute of stoppage-time, Colchester were back in front.

Wright side-footed home his first goal of the season, after Sammie Szmodics had sprung the offside trap and picked him out.

It ensured McGreal’s side went in at the break ahead and Walker preserved that lead just before the hour when he pushed away substitute Anton Forrester's low shot at his near post for a corner.

Colchester sent on Brandon Comley for Senior soon after and with 13 minutes remaining, former Vale youngster Luke Prosser replaced goalscorer Wright as McGreal looked for his side to close out the game.

But just when it looked as though the U's would preserve their lead, Vale equalised with three minutes to go.

Worrall diverted Hannant's long-range low strike into the net from close range in a crowded area for his second of the game, to deny Colchester maximum points.