Colchester United's U18s picked up a good point in their latest home game, against a strong Charlton side.
When the two sides met at Florence Park in the final game of last season, it was a nine goal thriller which saw the U’s lose 6-3.
However this time, there were to be no goals, but there was to be plenty of entertainment and action throughout.
Both sides went into the match after defeats the week before, with Athletic losing 6-3 at home to Ipswich Town, whilst Colchester lost late on, 2-1 at Coventry City.
The U’s began the match well straight from the kick off and dominated the opening 45 minutes and it was a big surprise that they did not score during that time.
A corner was won in the opening minute, but the ball in by Ollie Sims was overhit past the far post.
Al-Amin Kazeem then played a great ball inbetween defenders to find the run of Sims down the left but his intended ball in towards Jake Hutchinson was cut out at the near post. As Charlton attacked for the first time, a ball down the right line by Tettell Agyemang found the run of James Vennings but the U’s centre back Jayden Rendell was across to win a goal kick.
Noah Chilvers found Sims on the left, and he tried to take on the two defenders, but Freddy Barton was in to clear away for a throw in.
Back came the hosts and Lordon Alkobire played in Hutchinson down the right who won his side a corner. It was looking to be a very promising start to the match by the home team, who were still looking for their first league win of this season, with Charlton failing to really do much in the game so far.
However in their first attempt on goal on 13 minutes, a ball was switched out to Euan Williams on the left, but from a tight angle, his shot failed to test keeper Callum Coulter.
More was being seen from the visitors now as Kareem Isiaka broke down the left, but under pressure from William Wickham, his shot was high and wide of the target.
Chilvers again linked with Sims down the left, but his great cross in, was cut out at the expense of a corner. From the resulting ball in by Sims, Wickham was stretching to reach but was unable to get a contact on it.
Then in the best spell of the game to date for Colchester, the home team went very close twice in a minute.
First Hutchinson got away down the right and cut the ball back to Hasanally, he fired in the shot, but keeper Joe Osaghae made a very good save to his left and then seconds later, a Miller cross from the right, saw the away team keeper save again at close range from Hutchinson.
After Kazeem failed to cut out a pass down the right, Barton got onto it and crossed in, but this was headed clear.
When Gody tried his luck, it was deflected away for a left wing corner before Sims needed treatment after another bad tackle by Charlie Barker.
A sweeping ball found Miller on the right, he came back inside, but his shot was blocked away for a corner and from this taken by Chilvers, the header by Wickham was saved by keeper Osaghae down to his right.
Two minutes before half time, the ball was fed right to Miller, whose shot took a deflection, but the U’s wing player was denied by a superb tip over the bar by the Addicks keeper.
When the visitors threatened right on half time, Williams looked to get past Randell, who stood his ground to make a good tackle.
Next, Sam Cornish found Miller on the right, and although the ball was partly cleared, it was fired back goalwards by Hasanally, but Billy Frencho was well positioned to head it off of the goal line.
With light rain continuing to fall, the serious action continued. On 59 minutes, the U’s partly cleared an attack, but when it was fed back forward again to Gody, but he was denied by a superb tip over the bar by Coulter.
It was to be a much improved display by the away side after the break who were starting to create several decent chances. Coulter was down to his right to smother the shot by Agyemang and then Williams found Gody whose cross from the right was headed out, but the half volley back in by Eddi Allsop was just over the bar.
Charlton were a danger again as Williams found Isiaka but Kazeem was clearing his cross from the goalmouth. From Vennings’ left wing corner, the shot was blocked in the goalmouth and when Hasanally broke down the left, he was felled by Agyemang. Chilvers fed on for a very good run down the left by Hasanally, but his cross in, saw Stagg’s shot blocked at the near post by Barker.
The action continued at a pace, Miller down the right crossed for Stagg to have his shot blocked and then a good Charlton move saw some neat passing, Kesey found Agyemang but the block on his shot, saw a corner won. From this the ball was knocked goalwards and after a Coulter save and a goalmouth block the ball was scrambled clear.
Right on full time, there was another home chance as a ball in from the right, saw Chilvers set himself for the shot which was blocked and the follow up effort was then deflected over the bar.
Colchester United: Callum Coulter, Lordon Akolbire, William Wickham, Jayden Randell, Al-Amin Kazeem, Todd Miller, Andre Hasanally, Sam Cornish, Noah Chilvers, Jake Hutchinson and Ollie Sims with used subs: Sidney Morgan and Tom Stagg and unused subs: Ted Collins, Gene Kennedy and George Wind