Ross Embleton made two changes to the side that battled to a draw against Crawley on Tuesday night. With Ruel Sotiriou side-lined by injury, January signing Tristan Abrahams came in for his second full debut for the club. While Ouss Cissé replaced the suspended Hector Kyprianou in the heart of midfield.
After a cagey start from both sides, Conor Wilkinson almost sparked the game into life on the 10th minute mark when he cut in and struck a low shot that was well saved at his near post by Shamal George.
The former Bolton man probably should have put the O’s in front from the resulting set piece. Dan Kemp’s in-swinging corner found Wilkinson in space in the six-yard box, but Orient’s number nine failed to keep his header on target.
Colchester’s first real attack of the game almost led to the opening goal as new signing Frank Nouble rattled the woodwork with a header from close range just before the 20th minute.
Wilkinson continued to look Orient’s main attacking threat in the first half, and with his third effort of the match he flashed one just past George’s near post in the 25th minute.
Ten minutes later, it was Wilkinson again causing problems for the visitors defence as he crossed for Abrahams, the forward’s header was comfortable for Colchester’s ‘keeper in the end though.
The game entered something of a lull between the end of the first half and the beginning of the second. In an attempt to add some impetus to his side’s attack, Embleton made his first switch with Craig Clay the man to make way for the skipper Jobi McAnuff.
A second change soon followed as Sam Ling went down with an injury and was replaced by Dan Happe in an alteration that saw Tunji Akinola move to right back.
McAnuff’s arrival provided a boost for the O’s. He won his side a free kick on the edge of the box, wide to the right, minutes after coming on. Wilkinson and Kemp both stood over it, but it was the latter who whipped an effort into the side netting.
The away side could have broken the deadlock in the 66th minute when Miles Welch-Hayes met Callum Harriott’s corner and saw his header deflect narrowly over and behind.
As the game opened up, Wilkinson began to see a lot more of the ball. On two occasions in quick succession, he jinked inside onto his favoured left foot and forced George into a couple of smart saves.
With fifteen minutes left to play, Embleton made a third change which saw a return from injury for top scorer Danny Johnson, who replaced Kemp.
Orient had a chance for a late winner when Adam Thompson got a head to Wilkinson’s teasing free kick, but it wasn’t to be as the centre back’s header went just over, forcing the O’s to settle for a second successive 0-0 draw.
ORIENT: Vigouroux, Ling (Happe 60′), Akinola, Thompson, Brophy, Cissé, Clay (McAnuff 58′), Freeman, Wilkinson, Abrahams, Kemp (Johnson 77′)
SUBS: Sargeant, Widdowson, Dayton, Dennis
COLCHESTER: George, Welch-Hayes, Doherty (Clampin 73′), Lapslie, Smith, Harriott, Chilvers (Stevenson 65′), Eastman, Sarpong-Wiredu, Poku (Senior 71′), Nouble
SUBS: Coulter, Sowumni, Senior, Oteh, Brown
BOOKED: Doherty, Chilvers
REF: Neil Hair