Andy Taylor's magnificent free-kick in the sixth minute of injury time rescued Walsall a point against Colchester.
The visitors started brightly, James Baxendale and Craig Westcarr both going close to opening the scoring early on.
However it was the hosts who took the lead with a fine strike by Freddie Sears from the edge of the box.
Colchester seemed to be heading for victory until Taylor's late free-kick snatched a point - the Walsall full-back's first goal for the club.
Taylor's match-saving free-kick came for on-loan Chelsea defender Daniel Pappoe's challenge on Troy Hewitt, who spent the final two months of last season on loan at Colchester.
Taylor, who joined Walsall from Sheffield United in August 2012, had not scored in more than five years, since his days at his previous club Tranmere Rovers.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Colchester United manager Joe Dunne told BBC Essex:
"If we'd have held onto to a 1-0 everyone would have been delighted, but it probably would only have papered over a few cracks.
"To be fair, Walsall dominated the second half, the corner count was ridiculous. In the end we didn't carry any attacking threat, we just dropped too deep.
"The back four defended ever so well. Because we couldn't maintain the ball we had to drop behind it. I thought the only way they were going to score was with a set-piece. We defended open play ever so well.
"It was a wonderful free-kick, it's cruel. Unfortunately what it does is it turns everybody into a negative, aggressive mood. I'll take full responsibility for that. It feels like a defeat."
Walsall manager Dean Smith told BBC WM:
"If you keep working as hard as we did, you get something, and we certainly deserved something.
"We did everything right apart from get the ball in the onion bag but we know if keep creating chances we'll score goals.
"But I'm always stressing how important it is to keep going right to the death.
"The lads never stopped believing and Andy Taylor's come up with a great free-kick."
Walsall scorer Andy Taylor told BBC WM:
"It must be over four seasons since I last scored.
"I didn't know what to do when it went in. I just ran around."