CALLUM Harriott has made a long-awaited return to action for Colchester United.

The talented winger has been sidelined since he rejoined the U's on a permanent basis last month.

Harriott joined on a free transfer from Championship club on a two-year deal, in September.

But the 25-year-old's recovery from a quad injury has taken longer than expected.

However, it now looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel for the former Charlton Athletic attacker, in his bid to get back to playing.

He played the opening 45 minutes for Colchester in their Essex Senior Cup third-round defeat at Heybridge Swifts, last night.

Harriott started the game but came off at half-time and was replaced by Ollie Sims.

The winger, who made 23 appearances and scored seven goals during a successful loan spell with the U’s in the 2015-16 season, returned to the U's at the start of last month.

Noah Chilvers, Michael Fernandes and Louis Dunne also featured for Colchester at Swifts.

Bristol City loanee Freddie Hinds grabbed what proved to be the consolation goal for the U's, at Scraley Road.

Goals from Jack Adlington-Pile and Matt Price allowed Karl Duguid's Swifts to get the better of the youthful Colchester side.

Duguid said: “It was a nice occasion against my former club.

“It was also a nice tie for the players and the football club.

“Being at home was good for the club, but the players may have preferred an away tie against Colchester.

“Although it was a nice draw for Heybridge and me on a personal level, it was important that we treated it as any other game because we wanted to win.

“We knew it would be difficult no matter what team they brought down because they are a team of full-time professionals.

“There are a few people I know at the club but a lot has changed since I left Colchester.

“They are doing well at the moment and it’s a good club trying to do things in the correct way.

“It was nice to see a few familiar faces from the Colchester side of things in and around the ground, but my only intention during the game was to win.”