Colchester United earned safe passage through to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup for the first time in ten years on Saturday, as they knocked Championship side Charlton out of the competition.
The U's improvement under the management of Kevin Keen continued and they got their first win in eleven games with arguably their most accomplished performance of the season.
Two up for much of the game, they could have been further ahead and a late goal from Ghoochannejhad made the scoreline look perhaps a little closer than the game had been.
Both teams had slow starts to the game, cancelling each other out in midfield. Gavin Massey created the first real chance when he was played in by Owen Garvan and squared for Chris Porter who couldn’t apply the finishing touch.
Charlton responded quickly with Diego Poyet curling an effort from 25 yards just wide of debutant Jake Kean’s post.
The U’s fans thought they were ahead on the 20-minute mark when Garvan played in Sordell with a defence splitting pass but his effort came back off the stanchion.
George Moncur finally broke the deadlock for The U’s with half an hour on the clock after collecting a neat pass from Sordell and cooly slotting past Pope.
It was 2-0 before half time when Moncur repaid the favour and slipped in Sordell and he calmly beat Pope from 12 yards.
On the stroke of half time, Colchester produced one of their best attacking moves of the season; Garvan chipped a delicate ball over the defence and Porter cushioned a header down to Eastman of all people who rifled a volley hard at goal but the effort was saved by Pope.
The U’s started the second half in the exact fashion they finished the first; Moncur and Sordell tested Pope again but the Charlton keeper denied them both and kept it at 2-0.
With 67 minutes gone, Charlton appeared to be in after Simon Makienok raced into the box but Alex Gilbey got across and produced an excellent sliding tackle to prevent the shot coming in.
Bonne replaced Sordell on 80 minutes and made an instant impact after The U’s caught Charlton on the break. Macca was set through on goal and tried to lift the ball over the onrushing Pope but mistimed the shot and the ball ended up trickling wide.
Charlton did score a consolation goal when Ghoochannejhad headed past Kean in injury time but it wasn’t enough to revive a comeback for The Addicks.
So a morale boosting - and budget boosting - win for the U's to get 2016's home games under way and all eyes turn to Monday night's draw to see who awaits in Round Four.