Charlton 2 Cambridge United 2
The Addicks were denied a second league win on the spin by two late goals on Saturday afternoon as Cambridge United came from behind to draw 2-2 at The Valley.
In truth, it was a quiet first half, with neither set of fans having much to shout about. The U’s probably shaded it in terms of chances, winning seven corners in the first period and going close with two of them.
In the 12th minute, Danny Andrew’s short corner was worked into James Brophy via Sullay Kaikai, but the former's shot from inside the area was deflected off target. 10 minutes later, Gassan Ahadme headed goalwards from another Andrew delivery, but it was beaten away by Ashley Maynard-Brewer.
Charlton grew into the contest in the last five minutes of the half, and had their best effort just before the break. Alfie May and Tayo Edun showed their quality with a neat one-two before the striker curled a shot just over the bar from the corner of the box.
The Addicks began the second half with far more intent and almost went ahead four minutes after the restart when Chem Campbell cut inside Jubril Okedina and sent a rasping shot towards Jack Stevens’ far post. The goalkeeper will have been relieved to see it go just over, but Charlton already looked more threatening.
Three minutes later the early second-half pressure told. Michael Hector sent a long ball down the line for substitute Daniel Kanu to chase, and the 19-year-old did brilliantly to keep it in and earn the bit of luck that came next. His cross deflected off Okedina and fell right into the path of May, who swept the ball past Stevens and celebrated in front of the Covered End.
It would take less than 10 minutes for the Addicks to double their lead. Scott Fraser’s raking cross-field ball put Corey Blackett-Taylor one-on-one with Liam Bennett, and he stood the defender up before clipping in a wonderful cross from the byline. Chem Campbell, making his first start in two months, arrived late in the box and ran onto the ball, powering a header past Stevens to claim his first Charlton goal.
But just as the Addicks had grown into the game in the first period, the U’s grew into it in the second. Half-chances for Elias Kachunga and Jack Lankester were followed by the goal the away side were looking for.
After Hector blocked Lankester’s header, George Thomas sent the resulting corner in low and hard towards the six-yard box, where Ahadme was on hand to head past Maynard-Brewer and set up a nervy finish.
It would take until the sixth minute of added time for Charlton’s worst fears to be realised. Lankester picked up the ball 30 yards out and drove at Edun. The defender appeared to bring him down outside the box, but the referee pointed to the spot, and Ahadme stepped up to send Maynard-Brewer the wrong way and claim his and Cambridge's second.
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; T.Watson, Hector, Thomas, Edun; Dobson (c), Fraser, C.Campbell (Mbick 88); Rylah (Kanu 46), May (Elerewe 90+3), Blackett-Taylor (T.Campbell 82)
Subs (not used): Walker, Asiimwe, L.Watson
Goals: May 52, C.Campbell 61
Assist: Blackett-Taylor 61
Cambridge United: Stevens, L.Bennett, Okedina, Morrison (c), Andrew; Cousins, Digby (Thomas 68); Brophy (Lankester 80), Kachunga (May 90+8), Kaikai (Gordon 68); Ahadme
Subs (not used): Mannion, R.Bennett, Haunstrup
Goals: Ahadme 87, 90+6
Assists: Thomas 87, Lankester 90+6
Attendance: 13,373 (1,373 away)
Referee: Thomas Kirk