3,630 people were treated to an eight-goal thriller at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, which finished all square on a breathtaking afternoon of football.
The U’s had the brighter start of the two teams with Marvin Sordell testing Saddlers goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray and George Elokobi having a shot cleared off the line by on loan Walsall midfielder George Evans early on.
However, they were made to rue those missed opportunities as the ball eventually dropped to former West Brom trainee Romaine Sawyers from a corner and he made no mistake in calmly slotting past Jamie Jones.
The U’s went on the attack looking for an equalizer; skipper Alex Gilbey had a curling effort destined for the top corner tipped over by MacGillivray whilst Sordell was inches away from meeting a Darren Amrbose cross where any sort of contact would have seen the ball into the net.
Against the run of play, Milan Lalkovic put Walsall 2-0 in the 30th minute up with a deflected shot from the edge of the box, which grazed the post on its way in. Darren Amrbose thought he’d hit back immediately after volleying home, however his delight was short lived as the linesman raised his flag for offside.
Both Marvin Sordell and Callum Harriott had good efforts beaten away by MacGillivray before half time, and it became clear why Walsall had only conceded eight goals in 14 games and two away from home this season.
What happened in the second half is questionably the most hectic 45 minutes of football any fan is going to see all year. Within three minutes of the restart George Moncur struck after Darren Amrbose did well down the right hand side and cut the ball back to Moncur who placed the ball perfectly into the top corner from 20 yards, giving MacGillivray no chance.
Just two minutes later it was all square. Darren Ambrose again turned his man inside out on the wing and was the supplier of another perfect cross, which allowed Marin Sordell to tap into the empty net from close range.
You are at your most vulnerable when you have just scored is a popular saying in football and proved to be the case again as George Evans restored Walsall’s lead with 57 minutes on the clock after finishing off Adam Chambers cut back.
Almost immediately and to the delight of the home fans, Owen Garvan staked his place for the goal of the season award after an outrageous left footed half volley from 30 yards which beat everyone and left MacGillivray scrambling across his box but unable to keep it out.
For the first time of the game, the U’s went ahead after Callum Harriott showed great skill to beat his man and registered yet another assist by squaring the ball for Darren Ambrose who tapped in from six yards.
Walsall piled pressure on the U’s searching for an equalizer and had both Romaine Sawyers and James O’Connor go close. There was to be a final sting in the tail for the U’s defence as O’Connor got his goal in the first minute of injury time after beating Jamie Jones from a Jordan Cook cross.
There was almost more action as Kieron Morris struck the woodwork with seconds left to play but there was to be no more goals as referee Seb Stockbridge blew the whilst with it four apiece.
After the game, U’s gaffer Tony Humes said: “You don’t know whether to be happy, sad or indifferent after that game.
“It was a fantastic game of football and as a spectator, you probably think “what a great game”.
“Walsall are probably thinking the same as us, after conceding four goals.”
That point earned sees the U’s move into 15th place and is registered as only the seventh 4-4 draw in Colchester United history; the last came on Boxing Day in 1997.
The U’s next face Doncaster Rovers away at the Keepmoat Stadium on 31st of October. The U’s players will be itching to set the record straight as their last win against Rovers came in a 3-2 win on the 10th September 2005.
You can watch highlights of the 4-4 draw with Walsall on the official Colchester United YouTube channel HERE.