A COLCHESTER United under-23 side featured a number of first-team players in their 2-2 draw with Watford at Maldon and Tiptree FC, writes BRIAN WALLER.

Richard Hall's side, which featured the likes of Miles Welch-Hayes, Josh Bohui, Junior Tchamadeu and Shamal George, shared the spoils in the Professional Development League Two match.

The U's were looking to complete a double as a Sammie McLeod goal had secured a 1-0 win for them in the first game of this season, last September.

It was a young-looking Hornets team which featured at Maldon including several members of their under-18s, who had recently beaten the U’s 2-0 in an FA Youth Cup third round tie, with scorers Shaqai Forde on the bench and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton in the starting line-up.

Watford took the lead just on the midway point of the first half.

Dom Hutchinson put the Hornets ahead as he smashed the ball into the net after a clever piece of work between Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and J J McKiernan, after 23 minutes.

However eight minutes later and the U’s were back on level terms.

They equalised thanks to a goal by former Manchester United youngster Bohui, who netted from a position just inside the area just before the half hour mark.

Two quick goals exchanged just around the hour mark livened up the start of the second half.

Watford regained their lead after 56 minutes through their captain Toby Stevenson.

But almost immediately afterwards, Colchester made it 2-2 thanks to a goal from one of their trialists.

That was the way it stayed, as the spoils were shared.

In matches played last week the U’s lost 3-1 away at Bristol City whilst fifth-placed Watford did not have a match.

This was their match since December 21, when they won 3-2 at Swansea City.

Colchester United squad: Shamal George, Miles Welch-Hayes, Junior Tchamadeu, Billy Cracknell, Trialist, Marley Marshall-Miranda, Sam Cornish, Harvey Sayer, Trialist, Samson Tovide and Josh Bohui, subs: Jake Hutchinson, Ollie Kensdale, Michael Fernandes, Trialist and Ted Collins