The Terriers left it until late to earn just one point in an entertaining, if a little stressful, game at Layer Road.
The home side looked like they were going to be on the receiving end of a heavy defeat as Town set about winning corners and terrorising their defence early on.
Colchester could only muster two efforts in the first half. Unfortunately, both of them led to goals!
After 9 minutes of Town pressure, Colchester won a free kick with Joe Keith clean through. Karl Duguid took full advantage of a badly constructed wall and Margetson's poor positioning to put the home side into a shock lead.
They extended their lead to an incredulous 2-0 after 22 minutes when Micky Stockwell stabbed the ball home after Kevin Gray left the ball to Martyn Margetson and the Town 'keeper made a hash of it.
Claims for a penalty for a foul on Leon Knight on the edge of the Colchester 6 yard box were ignored by the referee a minute later but Town slowly came back into the match and used their dominance to pressurise the home side into mistake which led to a 39th minute glimmer of hope scored by Andy Booth.
Booth struck a rising right footed shot which bulged the back of the net after Steve Jenkins had put a cross through to him.
With Leon Knight testing Andy Woodman several times in the closing minutes of the first half the stage was set for a Town equaliser in the second half.
Sure enough, it came in the 57th minute when Danny Schofield latched onto a great Leon Knight through ball which carved open the Colchester defence and levelled the scores.
The sight of Clyde Wijnhard warming up was surely a spur to the players on the pitch and three minutes later, after Knight had been denied once again by a Woodman block, it was Andy Booth who popped up at the far post to put Town into the lead!
Dwayne Mattis had won a tackle in midfield and started a flowing move involving Leon Knight and Simon Baldry who put in a wonder cross onto Booth's head which left Woodman with no chance.
Knight's right footed curler a minute later could have extended the lead but there were signs of resistance from Colchester who forced Margetson into a parried save which was cleared by Kevin Gray.
The warning signs were not heeded, however, and Town began defending deep once again and succumbed to a 72nd minute equaliser from Scott McGleish who finished with ease after Adrian Coote's effort had come off the bar.
The Terriers had switched to 4-3-3 in an effort to secure a win and it was Clyde's turn to come on after 15 months out injured. He might have had a claim for a penalty after being hauled down but the referee wasn't interested.
The referee was, however, very interested in the 78th minute when, following a number of tackles on Town players which had gone unpunished, he opted to show the red card to Steve Jenkins who had gone in a little late on Bobby Bowry. It was a harsh decision in light of the way the game had gone.
Jenkins looked sorely disappointed as he trudged off.
Wijnhard should have had another penalty afterwards after a great Knight through ball had almost seen him clean through but Jenkins' departure curtailed any heroics from Town who seemed to be glad of the point towards the end of the game.
Read Mel Booth's match report in the Examiner on Monday. Have your say in the message board below or in the letters form on the right hand side.
Colchester Utd (4-4-2): Woodman, Duguid, Keith (Morgan 74), White, Fitzgerald (Johnson 84), Clark, Pinault, Bowry, Stockwell, McGleish, Barrett (Coote 68)
Subs not used: Brown, Rapley
Booked: Clark, Morgan, Coote
Scorers: Duguid 9; Stockwell 22; McGleish 72
Town (4-4-2): Margetson, Jenkins, Moses, Evans, Baldry, Gray, Irons, Mattis, Schofield, Knight, Booth
Subs not used: P. Senior, Heary, Hay, Wijnhard, Macari
Sent Off: Jenkins 78
Scorers: Booth 39, 60; Schofield 57
Referee: Lee Cable (Woking)
Match points are on subsequent pages
93 mins: Bowry shot but Margetson saved as the game went into added time with the referee blowing up for many fouls.
90 mins: Neither side were keen to risk all in attack as the game drew to a conclusion.
87 mins: Andy Booth won a free kick in a dangerous area but Town were reluctant to commit many men forward.
83 mins: Stockwell's cross was over the bar. Heary was waiting to come on as Town were forced to defend the point they had.
81 mins: Irons' free kick was headed away by Bowry before it could reach Booth.
80 mins: Wijnhard was tripped by a player who had already been booked after Leon Knight had supplied a great through ball. The Town fans demanded the second yellow card but it wasn't produced!
79 mins: Town immediately warmed up Thomas Heary as the match rested on a knife edge.
78 mins: Bobby Bowry was felled late by Steve Jenkins who was promptly sent off by the referee!!!!
77 mins: Clyde seemed to be pulled when he turned a defender after reaching Steve Jenkins' free kick. The expected penalty was not given.
76 mins: There was a stoppage as the referee spoke to a Colchester defender and Clyde Wijnhard.
75 mins: Clyde Winjhard came on as Town reverted to 4-3-3 for the final minutes of the match.
72 mins: McGliesh poked home after a great delivery from the corner with help from Stockwell. McGliesh had done all the hard work getting the ball to travel goalwards. Town had defended too deep yet again and Clyde Wijnhard prepared for his first footballing action for over a year.
70 mins: Margetson saved well from Scott McGliesh as Colchester hit a 40 yard free kick into the danger zone.
68 mins: Knight broke free and ran into the area but he was forced wide. He still got the shot in, though, and Woodman made a smart save. Irons was struggling badly.
67 mins: Leon Knight played the ball into Andy Booth and the big targetman won a corner. Kenny Irons signalled to the bench that he was struggling.
66 mins: Margetson parried a scorching shot and Gray helped out by completing the clearance as Colchester closed in for the finish.
65 mins: Knight was itching to get onto the scoresheet and he caused mayhem in the Colchester defence after a good through ball.
62 mins: Leon Knight teed up a right footed curler which tested Woodman to the limits!
60 mins: Andy Booth stole in at the far post to put Town into the lead!!! Dwayne Mattis had won the ball and began a move involving Leon Knight and Simon Baldry whose brilliant cross landed perfectly on Booth's head!
58 mins: Leon Knight was denied when his effort was blocked by Woodman who was the last man.
57 mins: Danny Schofield equalised with a stunning effort after Leon Knight carved open the defence and put a superb through ball into the young wingman. Clyde Wijnhard was warming up.
56 mins: Andy Booth fell awkwardly after being fouled by Simon Clark. He was holding his back as he got up.
52 mins: Bowry's flicked header went behind for a goal kick.
51 mins: Baldry dawdled too long in trying to select with Mattis or Irons to cross to and he lost the ball to a Colchester full-back.
50 mins: A flick on from Colchester defeated the Town centre backs but drifted away harmlessley.
49 mins: Town were slightly shaky at the back at the start of the second half. McGliesh was particularly dogged in his close attention to Simon Baldry.
Town got off to a terrible start when Colchester took their only two chances of the half to race into a 2-0 lead through goals by Karl Duguid and Micky Stockwell.
The Terriers had been generally dominant throughout the half and Andy Booth pulled one back towards the end of the half with a well taken rising shot to give Town hope and, with Leon Knight getting into his stride after an anonymous start, the Terriers started to look more impressive towards the end of the half.
45 mins: A late corner by Town was repelled by the Colchester defenders.
44 mins: Moses thwarted Stockwell's efforts to get past him but sliced his clearance towards Margetson.
42 mins: Knight latched onto a long clearance by Margetson and once again unleashed an effort from out wide.
41 mins: Knight's shot from a tight angle was saved by Woodman. Macari urged his men forwards to try and grab an equaliser before half time. The Terriers were playing very deep again.
39 mins: Andy Booth slotted home beautifully with a rising right foot shot which beat Woodman to reduce the deficit. Jenkins had put the ball through to him and Booth gave Woodman no chance.
37 mins: Town's best chance so far fell nicely to Leon Knight but he couldn't get past Andy Woodman in the Colchester goal and the chance was gone.
35 mins: Schofield was pulled up for a foul which looked like a legitimate tackle.
34 mins: Pinault was penalised for a foul on Mattis.
27 mins: All the strikers on Town's bench were warming up in the chill Essex wind as Town had to attack to protect their lengthy unbeaten record.
24 mins: Knight was booed by the home support as Town gritted their teeth and continued to press.
23 mins: Leon Knight got no change from the referee as he claimed for a penalty after being clattered by a Colchester defender.
22 mins: Margetson was about to be pulled up for a push on one of Colchester's strikers and everyone paused except for Micky Stockwell who gleefully stabbed the ball home for 2-0!
16 mins: Moses was picked up for a foul on Barrett.
15 mins: Kenny Irons won a corner after his hefty shot was deflected behind the stand.
11 mins: Baldry was tackled by Pinaud and the ball went out for a throw which was cleared by Bowry. The Terriers had not let the setback get to them and continued to attack.
9 mins: Martyn Margetson could only watch in horror as Karl Duguid's free kick defeated the patchy Town wall and went into the back of his net off his fingertips.
9 mins: Joe Keith had a clear shot on goal but the referee decided to pull the action back for an earlier infringment!
7 mins: Woodman was there again to watch the ball go behind but the referee decided it was a goal kick.
7 mins: Woodman pushed the ball over the bar as Irons delivered another teasing corner.
6 mins: Andy Booth's free header from Jenkins' cross was tipped away by Woodman for a corner!
5 mins: Irons delivered a great curling corner but nobody was there to get a touch and the ball drifted out the other side for a goal kick.
4 mins: Booth's flicked header fell for Schofield but his shot was blocked. Town had had a good start to the match.
Gareth Evans returned from injury and slotted straight into the side to face Colchester while Clyde Wijnhard made it to the bench after over a year out with an arm injury sustained in a car crash. John Thorrington was still not fit enough to play.