Olly Groome reports DGS Marine Stadium
The U23s’ unbeaten streak came to an end as they finished 2016 with a narrow 2-1 loss to Colchester United at the DGS Marine Stadium on Monday afternoon.
Colchester took a shock early lead with the first attack of the game. A cross from the right was met by the head of Decarrey Sheriff, finishing confidently past Ashley Maynard-Brewer with just six minutes on the clock.
The Addicks didn’t see their first opening until the 17th minute when Karlan Ahearne-Grant burst into the box, teeing up Joshua Umerah. With his back to goal, he turned well and fired in a shot which was well snuffed out by a U’s defender.
From the resulting corner, Dan Bowry came inches away from restoring parity, only to glance his free header just wide of the upright.
Charlton had dominated for the remainder of the half but could not find a way through and came close to a leveller early in the second period when a neat move played George Lapslie into the box.
The midfielder squared across the face of goal with the ball bouncing around the danger area and off the post before finally being hacked away by a blue and white shirt.
That would prove to be the turning point as the visitors went down the other end and snatched a second soon after.
Charlie Edge was the provider, laying on a centre for Aaron Cosgrove who struck firmly into the back of the net against the run of play.
On 63 minutes, however, the hosts gave themselves hope, pulling one back through Umerah.
Superb work from Ahearne-Grant down the left saw him skip to the byline, before drilling the ball across the face of goal where Umerah was on hand to tap home from close range.
The Addicks continued to dominate proceedings, but the U’s defence proved formidable.
Ahearne-Grant’s free-kick spun narrowly wide of the post, while Umerah drilled a low shot just past the post.
And in injury time, Brandon Hanlan’s shot missed the target by inches as Jason Euell’s youngsters suffered their first league defeat in 13 games.
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; Barnes, Edwards, Carter, Bowry; Dijksteel, Charles-Cook, Lapslie (Doughty 73); Ahearne-Grant, Hanlan, Umerah.
Subs (not used): C Thomas, Zemura, Sarpong-Wiredu.
Goal: Umerah 63
Read Time: 2 mins