SWINDON Town’s winless run extended to four games after Colchester United twice came from behind to take a point from their trip to the County Ground.
Town enjoyed plenty of chances across the 90 minutes, with Michael Smith putting the Robins in front in each half, but equalisers from Rhys Healey and Gavin Massey left the scoreline even at the final whistle.
A low-key opening quarter of the game was followed by a lively 20 minutes before half-time. Jordan Turnbull kept Swindon level in the 25th minute, clearing off the line with Wes Foderingham beaten after Massey beat Louis Thompson with a glorious first touch and teed up Freddie Sears.
Turnbull’s clearance proved pivotal less than two minutes later, as Smith put Swindon in front. Amari’i Bell darted down the left and pulled the ball into the striker’s path. The Geordie obliged with an excellent, first-time finish.
Town were efficient without being wholly effective for much of the opening period and, within 70 seconds of the restart, they found themselves pegged back by Colchester.
Healey was given the freedom of the Swindon penalty area to receive the ball and the U’s striker cut inside Jack Stephens onto his right foot to cannon an effort beyond Foderingham.
The hosts could have had their confidence sapped by the strike so soon after half-time but they responded in terrific fashion and went in front for a second time in the 48th minute.
Massimo Luongo found space on the right to deliver a tidy cross and Smith snuck the ball past Walker with ease.
Again, Swindon couldn’t hold on. Slapdash defending in the box saw the ball break through to Sears, who looked to be in an offside position, but play was allowed to go on by the officials and, when he couldn’t make true contact, Massey tucked home at the back post.
Town came again. Smith should have had a hat-trick when Luongo broke into the U’s area and teed up the striker from around the penalty spot, but Smith was denied by Walker low to his left. Then Luongo tested Walker himself, cutting in from the right onto his left foot and firing at the visitors’ goalkeeper.
The Australian was rapidly becoming the home side’s biggest threat and, with 58 minutes on the clock, he broke the defensive lines again, dancing through two tackles before shooting low at Walker.
The U’s stopper was again in action with 15 minutes left, as he produced a superb reaction save low to his left to keep out Byrne’s toe-poke from Luongo’s throughball.
Magnus Okuonghae was next to the visitors’ rescue, throwing himself at Smith’s goalbound effort following Byrne’s neat centre and preventing what looked like a certain third for the Robins.
Swindon lived dangerously in the final minutes, with Healey coming close to nicking it for Colchester at the end, but the match ended all-square.