At first it was Chelsea loanee Sam Walker pulling out the stops with an impressive display on the day he re-signed for Colchester, before Mark Cousins took over and produced a string of saves.
Colchester were quickly into their stride and enjoying lively possession in the early stages, nearly taking the lead on two minutes when Sanchez Watt rattled the post. The home side took some momentum from this near miss and proceeded to press high up the pitch, preventing any early rhythm from team.
From the promptings of Tom Carroll and Tom Huddlestone in the centre, with Andros Townsend joining in from the wing, the team began to establish a foothold in the game, with Huddlestone shooting straight at Walker before Townsend employed clever footwork before unleashing fierce drive that Walker did well to beat away, moments later testing the keeper again from outside the area.
At the other end full-back David Wright was not too far away with a shot from distance that Brad Friedel was able to watch go over his bar. Just before the half-hour mark Walker made a stunning save to tip away a thumping drive from Yago Falque after excellent wing play from Townsend came close to presenting Emmanuel Adebayor with a clear header.
Freddie Sears shot wide at the other end after an excellent run straight through the middle.
Carroll moved over to the right at the start of the second half, to accommodate the introduction of Scott Parker alongside Huddlestone. Townsend remained on the left, with Jermain Defoe and Harry Kane forming a new front line. At the back, Hugh Lloris, Kyle Naughton and Benoit Assou-Ekotto joined Michael Dawson.
Townsend fizzed over as the team made a bright start to the half, with Carroll heavily involved from his new station, linking up well with Parker and Kane.
Lloris was forced into a fine low save to deny Sears after the former West Ham man was played in by Tosin Olufemi. Kane then forced his way through and looked set to open the scoring but Walker was smartly off his line to smother.
Townsend then stung the hands of Walker again with another crack on the run from distance.
Carroll, Huddlestone and Dawson made their exit on the hour, replaced by Nabil Bentaleb, Laste Dombaxe and Zeki Fryers. Townsend was withdrawn with Shaq Coulthirst introduced a couple of minutes later.
Defoe nearly embarrassed substitute keeper Cousins after closing down his clearance, with the ball spinning high but eventually only into the side netting. The striker then jinked forward before smashing a shot just wide on 74 minutes.
Kane hit the post after being picked out by Parker in the area, with Defoe unable to control the rebound before Cousins did well to foil a powerful Defoe shot from outside the area.
It was one-way traffic as the game neared the end as the team poured forward in search of a winner, but it ended in stalemate.
First half team: Friedel, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose, Sigurdsson, Carroll, Townsend, Falque, Adebayor, Huddlestone.
Second half team: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson (Fryers 60), Caulker, Assou-Ekotto, Carroll (Bentaleb 60), Huddlestone (Dombaxe 60), Parker, Kane, Defoe, Townsend (Coulthirst 63).
Referee: Mr M Russell.