MORECAMBE picked up an excellent point at high flying Colchester.
The Shrimps produced a fine defensive display to keep Colchester at bay as they kept their second clean sheet in three games.
Boss Jim Bentley made five changes from the side that lost at Tranmere with Aaron Wildig, Andrew Tutte and Vadaine Oliver all ruled out through injuries.
The hosts searched for an early goal, but Luke Norris could not get enough power behind his low drive on two minutes.
Morecambe had a sight of goal on 10 minutes, although lone strike A-Jay Leitch-Smith’s shot was charged down by left-back Vincent-Young.
At the other end Sammie Szmodics scooped a 20-yarder over the top for the U’s.
The Shrimps had a half-chance when Frank Nouble felled Jordan Cranston with a strong challenge. The advantage was played, because the ball broke for Leitch-Smith, but his shot trickled wide of the far post.
There was a better chance for the visitors, on the half-hour mark. Rene Gilmartin did well to parry a long-range bullet from Jordan Cranston, only for the onrushing Rhys Oates to blaze the rebound high and wide from a promising position.
Morecambe defended very well in the first half, and even when Szmodics had an opportunity to shoot goalwards from Nouble’s cross, he was block-tackled by left-back Luke Conlan when about to pull the trigger.
A frustrated Norris cracked a shot over the top, on 41 minutes, but otherwise the Shrimps looked fairly comfortable, often with 10 men behind the ball with a solid shape.
The second half saw the home side up the tempo.
But it was Morecambe who had a chance to break the deadlock, early in the second half. The U’s failed to clear a corner delivered by former U’s loanee Liam Mandeville, only for Rhys Oates to see his free header fly wide of the far upright although he looked to have been nudged in the back.
As the game came to a close Kane Vincent-Young brought the crowd to life with a wonderful run. He did well to keep the ball in play, before getting to his feet to beat three defenders and crack in an angled drive which was clawed away for a corner by keeper Halstead.
Still the U’s could not really get out of first fear, Norris pulling a shot wide of the near post in the 70th minute, while at the other end substitute Kevin Ellison tested Gilmartin with a well-struck 25-yarder, although it was aimed straight at the U’s keeper.
COLCHESTER: Gilmartin, Jackson, Prosser, Kent, Vincent-Young, Lapslie, Comley (sub Pell, 73), Nouble, Szmodics, Dickenson (sub Senior, 63), Norris (sub Mandron, 73). Unused subs: Barnes, Wright, Eastman, Gondoh.
MORECAMBE: Halstead, Yarney, Old, Lavelle, Conlan, Kenyon, Mendes-Gomes, Cranston, Oates (sub Ellison, 73), Mandeville (sub Oswell, 73), Leitch-Smith (sub Thompson, 89). Unused subs: Szcezpaniak, Mills, Brownsword, Hedley.
Referee: John Busby (Oxon)
Attendance: 3,653 (71 away fans)