An injury-time equaliser from Anthony Wordsworth secured 10-man Colchester a point at Brentford.
After a scoreless first half, Clayton Donaldson curled the home side into the lead from 12 yards after latching onto a Myles Weston through-ball.
Colchester substitute John-Joe O'Toole was dismissed for a lunging tackle on Weston with eight minutes remaining.
A minute into injury time, Wordsworth curled home a free-kick from the edge of the area to hand Colchester a point.
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Colchester United manager John Ward told BBC Essex:
"He's [Wordsworth] got that in him, that quality about him, and he's showing it more and more - I think as he's maturing.
"Tonight was about a quality free-kick. I'm looking at it from my angle and thinking that's a long way out. He's really got to find something special.
"If anybody can in our team, he's the one that's got the most to do it."