Match Report

 

Tue 29 Sep 09


The U's made a statement of intent on Tuesday night as they defeated high-flying Charlton Athletic by a 3-0 scoreline.

Simply put, they outpowered their opponents, with Kayode Odejayi and Clive Platt unplayable throughout the ninety minutes.

Resolute in defence, the U's were fantastic going forwards and proved that they can mix it with the big boys this season.

It was their fourth win out of five at home this season and their third clean sheet in five games under Aidy Boothroyd.

The U's are contenders in 2009/10 - and now the rest of the division know all about it.

The U's named a side with just one change ahead of kick-off, with Kem Izzet returning to face his former side and David Fox making way In the heart of midfield.

It was another midfielder who had the first chance of the game on six minutes though, as Wordsworth lifted the ball over his man and then struck in a low shot that keeper Elliott parried away. The ball was eventually cleared as the U's attempted to keep the ball in the danger area.

The U's approach play around the final third was seeing them get plenty of balls into the area and Platt was next to try and knock the ball down into Odejayi's path, but Elliott snaffled up the ball before danger could develop.

Ex-Addicks man Lisbie then got the better of his full back to loft a cross to the far post and, as Elliott let it go past him, it was left to Richardson to hook clear away from danger. He followed that up with a volley from a knock down from Platt, but his lashed effort went well wide.

The visitors first chance came on 14 minutes as they managed to get a cross in from the left hand side. Sam looked like he might be the first to get to it, but the U's defence smothered the shot before clearing away. Richardson then escaped down the right hand side four minutes later and, having eluded Wordsworth's tracking back, he should have done better than to bury it straight into Williams' arms. Down the other side, there was a foray forward for the U's by White and his whipped cross was just shy of reaching Odejayi as Elliott again showed safe hands to collect.

Midway through the half, Racon lashed it well wide, before a clever knock back by Burton saw Bailey step onto the ball and drill a shot just wide of the far post. The visitors were having their first good spell of the game, but two dangerous deliveries from the right by Wordsworth caused difficulty for the Addicks defence with the ball eventually being cleared. Colchester took the lead with XX on the clock. The U's had the ball out wide on the right and Wordsworth lofted a ball into the area where he expected a runner to meet it. Llera tried to help it back to Elliott, but wrongfooted his keeper who tried desperately to get back but couldn't get onto it as it creeped in the far side netting.

The U's went two up within 101 seconds as a clever ball forward found Odejayi down the right channel and, holding off the attentions of his defender, he lashed an unstoppable effort beyond Elliott and low into the bottom corner. The visitors then went straight down the other end to nearly get a goal of their own. The ball was played inside Tierney and Shelvey looked well placed to score, but shanked his shot wide of the near post. The Addicks looked rattled - three times in quick succession they put the ball straight out of play when relatively unchallenged, as the U's turned up the heat. And, as the half time interval approached, there were disgruntled discussions between the visiting defenders as Odejayi again caused chaos at the back, with one cut back to Platt almost providing the U's with a third. The away side finished the half with a string of corners, which the U's did well to see off and retain their two goal advantage into the break.

The U's almost found their way to goal within seconds of the restart. A backpass found Platt coming in on the blindside but Elliott collected just in time.

At the other end, a Bailey cross almost found Burton in the middle before Okuonghae cleared, before a cleverly worked U's free kick saw Wordsworth strike towards goal, without really generating full power from the edge of the box. The visitors were generating pressure down the U's left, but never really had their final ball sorted.

The U's spurned a good opportunity of their own though, as a mercurial run by Lisbie saw the ball fed back to Izzet but the midfielder opted to loft the ball to the far post rather than have a shot from the edge of the box. Another run from Lisbie a minute later saw him outwit Youga once again and, having had three spot kicks in their last home game, the U's again appealed for a penalty when the cross appeared to strike the defender's arm. A minute later and Platt wrestled with Dailly in the box before being spun to the ground, but again the U's - albeit halfhearted - appeals came to nothing as the ref showed no interest. White then had a rare shot on goal that was deflected behind for a corner, with the resultant set piece seeing an almighty scramble that eventually saw Lisbie loft the ball over the bar. Lisbie helped the U's grab a third on 57 minutes. He helped a ball into the box and, as the Charlton defence hesitated, Odejayi outmuscled the onrushing Elliott and toe poked the ball calmly into the empty net from a narrow angle.

Bailey tried to provide an instant riposte, cutting in from the left to strike in a low shot, but his effort was happily watched past the post by Williams. Two minutes later and a raiding run down the right by Racon saw the ball dropped short to Burton, but he mishit his shot into the arms of the U's keeper.

The game was really opening up and Platt nearly got in, but shot near post where Elliott collected the ball. The U's lead saw the visitors make their first change just after the hour mark, as former U's loanee McLeod replaced Spring. A foul on Platt right on the edge of the U's box had the home fans calling penalty, but Wordsworth's free kick clipped the wall, sent Elliott the wrong way and pinged just past the far post. From the resultant corner, O'Toole got to the ball, but could only divert it wide. Platt and Odejayi were, as in the Hartlepool game, unplayable by the two centre halves and Llera, who had had an extremely tough time throughout the match, was replaced by Sodje for the final quarter of the match. Odejayi's performance had the home fans clamouring for his permanent signing, whilst the Charlton fans tried to lift their side in order to find a path back into the game. The U's supporters responded in kind as the stadium came alive going into the final twenty minutes. The home side made their first change with sixteen minutes left, as Platt came off to be replaced by Ifil. The former Spurs man went to right wing, with Lisbie pushing up top for the final moments of the game. Bailey nodded a cross beyond the far post as the Addicks went close, before Ifil also delivered a dangerous cross to the far post with Lisbie just shy of the decent centre.

And Lisbie went close on 83 minutes as his run into the box from White's pass saw his effort deflected over the bar with Elliott scrambling.

Dangerous in attack, the U's were determined in defence and Okuonghae was substituted to a standing ovation with three minutes left.

The captain was still settling into his seat when Williams pulled off the save of the match, tipping a seemingly certain goal from Bailey's curled effort over the bar.

The U's made their final substitution just as injury time got underway, reintroducing Elito into the side in place of Wordsworth.

Shelvey then caused a fracas in the dying stages as he caught Izzet, seeing yellow for his challenge on the former Addick trainee.

And former Charlton man Lisbie should have wrapped up a memorable victory against his old side, wrestling the ball off Dailly, but firing over from comparatively close range when he seemed destined to score.

    Data provided by Press Association

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