Bradford draw makes it seven useful points in January.
The U’s made two changes to their starting eleven, both of which were enforced. Alex Wynter slotted in at centre half in place of Kaspars Gorkss, whilst Ben Gordon went into the midfield three behind Chris Porter.
Next up is Crewe, who lost 5-0 at home to MK Dons, and a win next week guarantees the U's escape the drop zone.
But, despite being pegged back by an equally fine finish by Filipe Morais, the visitors will be delighted by a positive point that continues their quest to escape the bottom four.
In the early stages of the game, the U's deserved to be ahead as the Bantams started in lethargic fashion, and did so with Chris Porter's brilliant first Colchester goal.
Colchester United made it seven points in four games in January as they picked up a very useful draw against FA Cup giantkillers Bradford City.
The home side had the first sight of goal, as Stead reacted to a Hanson flick on to force a good low save out of Walker, who held on well to the ball.
The U’s reacted well and took the lead with a fine goal.
They had just been denied by a great stop by McArdle on Massey, but they went ahead with their next attack.
Lapslie took the ball out of the U’s defence and saw Porter peeling away down the left. The U’s new striker burst away down the left, squared up his centre half and curled home a quite brilliant effort into the far side of the net.
Massey had a similar chance after the U’s pressed the ball on the edge of the City area. With much of the goal to aim at, he tried to curl it past Pickford, but it beat the far post as well as the keeper.
Then Szmodics was the next to unsettle the Bantams defence. He burst through the middle, created himself an angle and fired in a low shot that Pickford did well to save.
After a frantic first fifteen minutes, the game settled down somewhat, with Stead’s effort from distance not troubling Walker.
City had the next chance too, as Morais had a free kick twenty yards from goal. His effort from a dangerous position clipped the top of the U’s wall, which allowed Walker to collect.
There was a worry for the U’s on 36 minutes as a cross into the box glanced off Eastman and just past the far post.
The U’s had a glimpse of goal themselves two minutes later, as Lapslie slid in Porter, but he was just flagged offside as he went to shoot towards goal.
Knott then went close for the home side, but it was a brave block by Clohessy just inside the box as the U’s preserved their lead.
Lapslie went into the book for a tackle that the referee adjudged to be too robust, but the U’s saw off the remaining set pieces to go into the break in front.
The Bantams came out for the second period no doubt fired up by a team talk by former U’s boss Phil Parkinson.
They started the half brightly, and tested the U’s with a number of balls and set pieces into the area in the first fifteen minutes of the second period.
Eastman went into the book just before the hour mark, tripping Stead who turned him quickly on the halfway line and looked like he was getting away.
The U’s were well set up to hit on the counter and, with one such move on 62 minutes, Szmodics slid in Gordon who, on the angle, forced a good stop out of Pickford.
Former U’s man Yeates came on with 63 minutes gone, replacing fellow Chelsea goalscorer Halliday, but the midway point of the second half arrived with the visitors still in front.
But the Bantams did get level with fourteen minutes to go. The ball was sent over from the left and it found the onrushing Morais on the far side, who lashed home a volleyed effort to make it 1-1.
The home side had a real head of steam up now and the U’s were penned in for the first time in the game.
They made their first change with five minutes to go, with Marriott coming on for Szmodics in the remaining moments in the match.
But they kept the home side at bay and picked up a great point.
Massey went into the book for a foul on Meredith, and the U’s saw away the set piece with three additional minutes to be played.