COLCHESTER United's under-23s had to settle for a point after drawing 2-2 with East Anglian neighbours Ipswich Town.

Richard Hall's young squad were leading 2-0 in Monday's Professional Development League fixture at Florence Park.

Andre Hasanally and Sammie McLeod put them in the driving seat with goals inside the first half-hour but Armando Dobra swiftly halved the deficit for Ipswich.

The Town scorer was then sent off for two bookings but Tyreece Simpson pounced after a shot from Ben Morris was saved by the U's goalkeeper.

It was the second draw between the sides this season.

In the corresponding game across the Suffolk border, it finished 1-1.

The U’s had the first effort as a trialist got the ball in from the left and, after Michael Fernandes missed the ball in the centre, it ran out to Ollie Sims, who fired over the bar.

In a home team featuring several first-team squad members, a left-wing corner ran out to Tom Lapslie, who fired in a great strike which saw keeper Adam Pryzbek struggling to stop it.

As Town threatened for the first time, a neat turn by Simpson saw him get away a left-foot effort which keeper Ethan Ross saved.

A poor kick out by Ross went straight to Liam Gibbs, who shot back goalwards.

The ball bounced back off the body of Ross and Dobra, following in, drove his effort over the bar.

Dobra, creating space for himself, got a shot away but Ross saved at his near post.

Then a loose pass out from a Town defender proved costly.

It went straight to Lapslie, who fired a shot in.

Although the visitors’ keeper made a good save, the ball ran out to Hasanally, who put the follow up chance away.

As Ryan Clampin tried to break down the left, he was hacked down by Dobra, who was booked.

Then a clever move saw Hasanally and Fernandes link to put McLeod in on goal.

Although the keeper made a good save, the offside flag had gone up.

A ball in from the right saw a header by McLeod glance off a defender and away for a corner.

Then the home team doubled their lead as a ball in from the left by a trialist ran across the box and it was McLod driving in a shot from the right side of the area.

The two-goal lead did not last long as a ball in from the right was not really cleared far and it ran to Dobra, who shot into the far corner of the net.

This prompted Town into more action.

Gibbs burst through the middle but fired wide of the left-hand post and then a ball up to Morris saw him superbly tackled by Ollie Kensdale.

After another good tackle, this time by Lapslie on Dobra, his pass found Hasanally, who made a break but then ran into trouble.

Right on half-time, a long kick upfield by Ross saw the Town keeper out of his box but he struggled to deal with the ball as Hasanally closed him down.

However, he did manage to escape.

After the interval, some neat Town build-up play saw Brett McGavin’s effort, with a slight deflection, go just wide and then Sims, on the run, was pulled back by Dobra.

He knew his punishment and was already walking off the field when the referee got out the second yellow and then the red card.

A ball in from the left by a trialist was scrambled clear to Hasanally, who drove his shot wide of the left-hand post.

It was all-square just before the hour-mark as, after Ross saved a shot by Morris, Simpson was on hand to put away the follow-up effort.

A couple of minutes after, another trialist was on for Fernandes and for Ipswich, it was Louie Fehrenbach on for Conor O’Reilly.

Simpson then got in behind the home defence but Ross pushed his shot away for a corner.

After a slip by Kensdale, he pulled down Morris on halfway and was booked, before Town made another change as Colin Oppong replaced Frazer Alexander.

A superb cross-field ball by Omar Showunmi went to Clampin on the left and saw him break forward, but there was a very good tackle on him by Levi Andov.

A trialist saw his attempt blocked away for a corner before Simpson was replaced by Harley Curtis.

A foul by Clampin on Curtis saw him booked before some home passing saw the ball run to McLeod.

In anticipation of a challenge by Tommy Hughes, he leapt but went down.

However, the referee deemed it to be a foul and booked the Town man.

The resulting free-kick by McLeod was straight into the arms of Pryzbek.

A ball in from the left by Gibbs nearly saw Curtis get in on the blind-side of the home defence and was so nearly on the end of it as the ball went just wide.

Town then created an opening as Gibbs found Morris but he shot over the bar, before Gibbs then attacked Tafari Moore down the left, but miss-hit his shot wide of the near post.

Colchester United: Ethan Ross, Tafari Moore, Ollie Kensdale, Omar Showunmi, Ryan Clampin, Michael Fernandes, Ollie Sims, Andre Hasanally, Tom Lapslie, Sammie McLeod and Trialist A with used subs: Trialist B and Dean Ager and unused subs: Callum Coulter, Matt Weaire and Sam Cornish.

Ipswich Town: Adam Pryzbek, Conor O’Reilly, Levi Andov, Corey Ndaba, Frazer Alexander, Armando Dobra, Brett McGavin, Tommy Hughes, Ben Morris, Tyreece Simpson and Liam Gibbs with used subs: Louie Fehrenbach, Colin Oppong and Harley Curtis and unused subs: Antoni Bort and Matt Healy.