Palace extended their unbeaten run in the U18 Professional Development League 2 to five games but were unable to collect the three points they needed in their quest for a play-off place.
The first-half was an action-packed affair and things began well for Ken Gillard’s side when after just 15 minutes they found themselves in front. Jason Lokilo picked the ball up 25 yards out and smashed an unstoppable shot past the U’S goalkeeper to register his second goal for the under-18s this season.
But the lead lasted only five minutes as Eagles keeper Colm McAdden brought down Tariq Issa inside the box. The striker dusted himself down and coolly converted the spot-kick to level things up.
Top scorer Levi Lumeka was sharp throughout the contest and he saw an effort fizz just wide of the target on 25 minutes, but the visitors nearly found a way in front in fortuitous circumstances when Issa whipped a corner into the area that bent sharply and struck the top of the crossbar and bounced out of play.
The wind was wreaking havoc and it caught Palace out again on 35 minutes when a cross-shot caused McAdden problems, and the Eagles stopper could only push the ball away from danger into the path of George Brown who had an easy finish on the volley.
However the Eagles received a bit of luck of their own on 41 minutes when they pulled level. Some good play by Andre Coker allowed Lumeka in whose shot was helped into the goal by the Colchester keeper, but the attacker claimed his 14th strike of an impressive campaign.
In the second half Palace pressed for the winner but it just wouldn’t arrive. Michael Phillips went close after some nice interchanging with Lokilo, and with 10 minutes to go he won another corner which was delivered into the area but headed wide by the midfielder.
Gillard’s boys nearly won it when Vicor Fundi rattled the woodwork with a shot that hit the inside of the post, and after Kian Flanagan had seen a shot blocked, Lumeka looked set to score but his attempt was saved by the legs of the goalkeeper as Colchester clung onto their point.
Palace: McAdden, King-Elliott, Jones, Wynter, Sturgess, Coker (Fundi 46), Phillips, Flanagan, Bissaka (Yeboah 76), Lokilo, Lumeka. Subs not used: Funnell, Hosannah, Linton.