Colchester goalkeeper Richard McKinney earned his side a point in an entertaining end of season game at Home Park.
McKinney made a string of fine saves and topped those with a flying stop from Paul Wotton's 24th minute penalty. It was the first time in nearly three seasons that Wotton had been stopped from the spot.
Plymouth assistant manager Kevin Summerfield, in charge for the scouting Paul Sturrock, was full of praise for the United stopper.
He said: "Everyone in the ground could see there was only one man of the match. He was magnificent, unbelieveable. But, to be fair, in the games we have had him watched he's been outstanding." McKinney's save from a point blank header by Marino Keith midway through the second half was possibly even better than his penalty save.
Summerfield said: "From where we were sitting, it looked a certain goal. I think everyone in the crowd thought it was in but somehow he's managed to stop it." McKinney was beaten twice. Firstly, a surging run by Keith ended with the striker firing in a shot that went past Richard McKinney but came back off the crossbar.
Then, Micky Evans crossed for Keith and the ball was headed into his own net by Colchester defender Scott Fitzgerald but the effort was ruled out for a hand ball by Keith that went unseen by most people.
Colchester had few clear chances. Their best chance fell to striker Scott McGleish early in the second half but Pilgrims keeper Romain Larrieu got down well to turn the ball around for a corner.
There was good news for Plymouth before the game when French midfielder David Friio signed an extension to his contract.
David Friio, 29, who joined the Pilgrims from France in November 2000, has agreed a new two-year deal.