Colchester interim head coach Hayden Mullins admitted he was disappointed his side could not hold on for victory after seeing them concede a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with fellow strugglers Barrow.
The U’s had led from the 33rd minute thanks to Callum Harriott, whose low first-time shot flew in after Frank Nouble had helped Courtney Senior’s delivery into his path.
But Barrow substitute Tom Beadling’s fine effort from the edge of the area in the 88th minute from Luke James’ assist rescued a crucial point for the visitors.
Mullins said: “It’s another point and we build again. We should have won but it’s not something that they can linger on.
“We’ve got another game against Oldham to come next Friday and we’re going to have to look at this, where we went wrong, the positives from the first half and put it all together to get a performance on Friday.
“It was a lovely finish by Callum and before that we looked in control and looked like were taking the game to them in the first half, which was really good.
“All the bits that we wanted to do came out and it was just disappointing that we didn’t hold on.
“At the moment, we have to try and take all of the positives we can.
“Even going into the second half, we should have definitely had a penalty when Courtney went down in the area and that wasn’t given.”
Colchester were the better side in the first half and Brendan Wiredu controversially had a goal ruled out by referee John Busby before Harriott scored. Wiredu also missed a gilt-edged chance after Harriott’s goal.
But Barrow improved after half-time and deserved their equaliser to move seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Barrow caretaker boss Rob Kelly said: “It would have been a long way to go back without anything.
“Give Colchester credit, they made it really difficult, but we were poor in the first half – no excuses and it was probably down to me a little bit as well.
“We had played very well in the second half against Newport and I wanted to be consistent, but sometimes it just isn’t our day and it just wasn’t us in the first half. But the second half was much more like us.
“I thought we showed really good character to end up getting a point out of it.
“I’m delighted for all of the players. The lads who came off realise that anything we ever do, we only have one agenda and it’s never personal or about one person.
“It’s always about us all doing all we can do pick up enough points and they understood the situation.”