Colchester's play-off hopes were dealt a blow when a late Michael Rose penalty saw them drop two points in a 1-1 draw at Morecambe.
United looked destined for the points until substitute Alex Wynter brought down Morecambe midfielder Antony Evans in the box and former Colchester midfielder Rose beat Sam Walker from the spot with just two minutes remaining.
Colchester had a great start to the game when they took the lead in the 22nd minute.
Tarique Fosu was brought down by Alex Whitmore's rash challenge just outside the box and Richard Brindley curled a delightful effort over the Morecambe wall and into the top corner.
Colchester began brightly and saw an effort cleared off the line in the opening minute when Whitmore cleared Brindley's shot at full stretch.
Fosu missed a golden chance to make it 2-0 for the visitors early in the second half when Danijel Nizic dropped a corner and he was made to pay.
Alex Kenyon drilled a shot into the side netting as the Shrimps staged a late rally before Evans was brought down and Rose sent the visiting keeper the wrong way.