HARRY Pell's penalty rescued Colchester United a point against struggling Notts County following a pulsating encounter at the JobServe Community Stadium.

The U's had trailed 3-1 at one stage but fought back to claim a draw, in a six-goal thriller.

U’s head coach John McGreal made two changes to his side for the visit of Notts County.

Courtney Senior and Mikael Mandron were both recalled to the U’s starting line-up.

Frankie Kent missed out as he served a one-match suspension, while Luke Norris was dropped to the bench.

Luke Prosser and Kane Vincent-Young were both passed fit to play, after limping out of the defeat at Crawley Town on New Year’s Day.

Senior fired a low shot just wide of the near post for Colchester inside two minutes, after finding space in the area.

And the U’s took an eighth-minute lead when Sammie Szmodics decisively fired home first time from close range after Senior had run at the visitors’ defence and picked him out.

But Colchester’s lead lasted only eight minutes after veteran Jon Stead stabbed home Notts County’s equaliser at the far post after David Vaughan's corner had been allowed to sail across the six-yard box.

And the visitors struck again two minutes later as Dan Jones slammed home emphatically from ten yards after Andy Kellett had done well to pick him out following a swift move.

Colchester, who looked nervy and error-ridden at the back in the first half, were left stunned by the turnaround.

However, they almost equalised when Ben Barclay’s important block inside the six-yard box prevented Frank Nouble from scoring what looked a certain goal, after Mandron had driven a low cross into their path.

But Notts County went 3-1 up on the half hour through Kristian Dennis, who finished smartly low and hard past keeper Rene Gilmartin after Rob Milsom had found his team-mate in the area.

Tom Lapslie headed a good chance wide unmarked from close range from Senior's cross, soon after.

And Colchester reduced the deficit in first half stoppage-time when Ryan Jackson drilled the ball into the box and Richard Duffy's attempted clearance came off Mandron and flew into the net.

The home side started the second half well and piled the pressure on, in their search for an equaliser.

Mandron's looping header from Nouble's cross sailed just over the bar for the hosts, while skipper Prosser had the ball in the net for the U's only for the effort to be ruled out for offside.

Szmodics’ far-post effort from Harry Pell’s cross was somehow scrambled away by the visitors, amid Colchester appeals that the ball had crossed the line.

But a minute later, Pell equalised from the spot midway through the second half after Senior had been brought down in the area.

Colchester pushed hard for a winner after that but it was not forthcoming, as their winless run extended to four matches in League Two.