Stephane Zubar's late own goal earnt Colchester a point and kept Bournemouth in the bottom four.
The Cherries had gone ahead after just 16 seconds thanks to a sweet strike from Wesley Thomas.
Wes Fogden thought he had added a second only for a controversial offside flag to be raised.
Colchester levelled things up when Zubar turned substitute Steven Gillespie's cross into his own net.
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Colchester United manager John Ward told BBC Essex:
"We haven't played as well as we'd have liked - that's down to the opposition, who played very well, particularly in the first 30 minutes. But we didn't quite get the game going.
"We've had to make a lot of re-shuffling around the team, which we didn't want to do because we couldn't establish ourselves in any supremacy.
"We've got to be content that we've come out with something."
Bournemouth manager Lee Bradbury told BBC Radio Solent:
"We had a great start and it was a great finish by Wes Thomas. There were some really good performances. But a mistake on our behalf let them back in the game.
"We made the better chances. We just need to lock games out a little bit and see them out.
"The individual who made the mistake [Zubar] has held his hand up. He's a good professional, for the majority of the game he did a great job for us. I feel tonight the team put a really good shift in and worked really hard."