Sammie Szmodics double denies Lee Carsley his first win as Development Squad managerJosh Clarke scored on his return from a loan spell at Stevenage but it wasn't enough to secure a first win in eight Under-21 Professional Development League Two South games for Brentford.
After a drab, error strewn first-half the game sparked into life three minutes after the break as Sammie Szmodics put Colchester United ahead.
However The Bees, without a win since September, responded well and were level ten minutes later as Montell Moore found the bottom corner from inside the D.
It got even better for Brentford five minutes later as Josh Clarke broke the offside trap and finished calmly past former Bee James Bransgrove in the visitors goal.
Lee Carsley's side were on the brink of their first league win under the former Everton midfielder but Szmodics denied them that success curling home with seven minutes remaining.
Marcos Tebar was included in The Bees starting XI as he continued his comeback from injury but otherwise it was a youthful Brentford side with Montell Moore, Jermaine Udumaga and Clarke starting behind Youth Team striker Bradley Clayton.
Colchester set-up with Tom Lasplie behind a midfield four and the powerful Dominic Smith on his own up front.
The Bees were nearly gifted a fifth minute lead as Bransgrove made a vital block to prevent Kevin Lokko turning into his own net from Clayton's cutback.
A deflected Smith cross clipped the top of the crossbar as it went behind and Dion Sembie-Ferris shot weakly at Jack Bonham but otherwise the opening 20 minutes passed without either goal coming under real threat.
Moore was looking Brentford's brightest attacking threat and he combined well with Clarke but the winger shot over from 15 yards.
Smith should have done better from Ben Gordon's cutback before Udamaga passed up the most presentable chance of the half as he blazed over from 12 yards after being found by Clayton.
Bransgrove in the visitors goal had been a mere spectator for most of the first-half but he got a crucial touch to prevent Tebar putting The Bees in front on the stroke of half-time.
It had been a slow burner of a first-half but the match came to life three minutes into the second-half as Smith held off Daniel O'Shaughnessy on the half-way line before slipping in Szmodics who slid the ball under the on-rushing Bonham.
Having controlled the first-half to a large extend only to find themselves behind Lee Carsley's side could have been forgiven for letting their heads drop but that was not the case.
Szmodics could have added a second only to find the side netting from a tight angle but The Bees responded well.
Moore had already struck the base of the post with a free-kick before he pulled The Bees level just after the hour as his low shot snuck into the bottom corner past the outstretched hand of Bransgrove.
Things got even better for Brentford five minutes later as they broke from a sustained period of United pressure and Clarke raced clear and calmly slotted home from 12 yards.
With 20 minutes to play and without a win in eight games Brentford began to sink deeper and deeper in protection of their lead.
Colchester poured forward looking for a leveller which they found with nine minutes remaining as Szmodics stole in behind Brentford's backline and curled a shot past Bonham from the left edge of the area.
With time running out it was the visitors who looked to more likely to grab a winner as Joel Atkin was denied by Bonham from close range with his first touch after coming off the bench and then from the resulting corner Tyrell Miller-Rodney made a brave block to deny Billy Roast.
However neither side were able to find that decisive fifth goal as the point ended a run of three straight defeats for The Bees.
Brentford DS: Jack Bonham; Lionel Stone, Daniel O'Shaughnessy, Kieran Morris, Aaron Greene; Louis Hutton, Marcos Tebar (sub Tyrell Miller-Rodney 59 mins); Josh Clarke, Jermaine Udamaga, Montell Moore; Bradley Clayton
Subs not used: Nik Tzanev, Seika Jatta, Joe Maloney, Tom Field
Colchester United DS: James Bransgrove; Tyler Bampton (sub Billy Roast 73 mins), Kevin Lokko, Jamie Harney, Ben Gordon; Byron Lawrence (sub Callum Harrison 69 mins), Sammie Szmodics, Tom Lapslie, Dion Sembie-Ferris (sub Joel Atkin 84 mins); Jack Curtis, Dominic Smith
Subs not used: Callum Robinson