There are no great surprises in the Charlton line up at Colchester, reports Erith Addick Paul May. The injured Anyinsah (spine) is replaced by Martin and Sodje returns to the bench. Indeed, the biggest change is in our commentary team where I am joined by Hans-Peter Knoeofel aus Schweiz mit die Ubersicht.
Colchester manager John Ward told Radio Essex that Charlton had a very strong bench and complained 'We're up against some very strong clubs, some very wealthy clubs.'
The advancing Martin was cynically pulled back by Reid who might have got a yellow card. Elliot asked for the ball to be changed. The game started quietly with neither side dominating. Then Mooney put in a shot after Doherty did not read the flight of the ball well but Elliot saved. Fry made a poor clearance, but the U’s were not able to take advantage of the opportunity.
Doherty made a poor header and Elliot had to sprint to deny Mooney. Elliot went down with what appeared to be a turned ankle, although his left knee might also have been troubling him. He pulled up awkwardly after the clearance. Colchester advanced and Semedo put in great work to clear in the area. Racon put in a shot on target, but it was an easy save for Williams.
A free kick 30 yards out was awarded against Semedo as concerns about Elliot continued. Wordsworth curled the ball round the wall and Elliot made a fantastic save to his left at the expense of a corner. Lloyd James ran in and Heath put in a near post header to put Colchester 1-0 ahead.
Martin was challenged in the area and a penalty, which some referees would not have given, was awarded. Top scorer Jackson put the ball straight into the corner to equalise. Doherty appeared to foul Mooney, but the former Addick was given a yellow card for diving. Ross Worner was sitting down again.
A cross put in Martin was turned away by Reid for a corner. Reid headed the corner away and Mooney advanced. Francis put in a good tackle leading to a Charlton throw. Colchester advanced on the right and went 2-1 ahead through Andy Bond. The marking at the back by Charlton was slack. Elliot dived to his right and went down on the ground. The stretcher was called for, but Elliot got up again. Francis appeared to have a head injury.
Francis had to put the ball away for a corner to prevent a clear shot on goal. Semedo cleared, but the U’s re-gained possession and Doherty put the ball out for a corner. Elliot punched the ball out, Vincent had two attempts and the ball went over the crossbar for a goal kick.
Colchester advanced again, Vincent’s first touch was too strong and Dailly put the ball away for a corner which was taken short. Bond put in a volley but Elliot made a great save. Charlton were under the cosh.
Dailly went in late on Vincent and received a yellow card. Wordsworth swung in the ball towards the far post but it went out of play. Martin put in a decent cross, but the resultant throw by Francis was poor. A cross by Francis led to a corner.
A great header from Benson went in, there was a deliberate handball from Perkins on the goal line and he was sent off. This time Jackson put it in the opposite corner to last time to make it 2-2 and put his league tally up to ten.
Charlton were playing better possession football. Six minutes were added on. Benson had a golden chance with a free header after a great cross by Jackson but his effort had no power behind it. Francis was brought down by Wordsworth who was lucky not to be booked.
Hans-Peter: Der Torwat ist tapfer. I am worried about the quality of the defending from set pieces.
Half-time: U's 2, Addicks 2
The U’s made a bright start to the second half. After some neat passing by Charlton, a drive was blocked. Charlton started to dominate possession. Francis made a poor pass which went to the keeper. Martin got a shot away from the edge of the D despite the attentions of three defenders.
Parky made a double substitution after a quiet spell in the match. Racon was replaced by Abbott in an attacking change and Reid replaced Wagstaff who had not been very involved. Jackson went into a more central midfield position with Martin on the right.
The U’s won a corner off Lee Martin. James put in a shot but Elliot saved. The U’s broke down the right (a problem for Charlton all afternoon), there were appeals for a free kick as Doherty was having his shirt tugged and they scored from the left of the area through Wordsworth to go 3-2 ahead. Mooney got a shot away which went just past the post with Elliot nowhere near it.
Jackson put in a cross, but it was headed away. Elliot sliced a clearance after Fry passed the ball back to him. The keeper did not look completely comfortable. However, he dealt well with a cross from Vincent. Charlton applied some pressure. Martin put in a good cross with Benson stealing in but Williams claimed well.
Good movement by Reid led to a Charlton corner. Williams punched it out, Fry missed out it and the U’s counter attacked, Mooney went for glory with options to his left and right and he put the ball over the bar. Abbott advanced but suffered from a very marginal offside decision.
Paul Benson scored a spectacular goal with an overhead volley to make it 3-3. Colchester made a double substitution taking off Vincent who was replaced by Henderson. Mooney went off and was replaced by Odejayi. These were like-for-like replacements to deal with tired legs.
Elliot caught the ball well. Martin put in a good cross towards the far post and it was headed behind for a corner. Fry tackled well to deny the U’s as they broke.
Dailly fed Reid and Benson put the ball in the net, but the referee gave a free kick. Colchester were backs to the wall, but they were given a generous free kick. The U’s were given a free kick on the edge of the area. Wordsworth’s effort went over the crossbar, Elliot judging it well not to concede the corner.
Benson was late in a challenge on White and was shown red. Five minutes were added on. News came through that George Burley had been dismissed by the Glaziers after their defeat by the Spanners.
The Addicks conceded a corner after a free kick: it was a dubious decision and Parky was not happy. Heath had a free header but Elliot made the save. Charlton counter attacked. The U’s advanced and Elliot had to kick a back pass away. Reid wasted an opportunity. The U’s applied more pressure, but Charlton countered.
The Addicks had not won away on New Year’s Day since 1953 and the chance to go second was missed.
Die Ubersicht: Hans Peter has awarded the box of chocolates to Elliot for a fighting performance. He was concerned about the way in which the U's could advance on the right and wonders how good Herr Braten from West Ham is. There are also defensive worries at set pieces, but the fighting spirit was good.