A moment of individual brilliance won the game for the Addicks, but the reports on an otherwise dull and uninspiring affair will undoubtably centre around the strangest refereeing decision I have ever seen.
Firstly, Colchester looked to have scored what appeared to be a well taken goal, only for the ref to blow his whistle and award a free-kick to the Addicks. Relief all around The Valley despite no clues as to why he chalked off the effort (if it was off-side, the Lino never flagged). Then, as Elliot was placing the ball for a free kick the ref has a change of heart...has a chat with his Lino...and gives the goal! Colchester go through the motions of celebrating, and all around the media sources the game will be noted as 0-1 to CUFC. As if that's not bad enough, with the ball on the centre circle and a very angry Charlton team ready to kick-off, the ref...and I promise you I'm not making this up...then gets into a discussion with the 4th official and...wait for it.........chalks the goal off and returns to his earlier decision of a free kick to Charlton!!! The Valley erupts: Colchester go mad. Back to 0-0.
My personal view is that as CUFC broke into the box to score, the ref anticipated an off-side decision and instinctavily blew his whistle (which he did BEFORE the ball crossed the line). And that's the point, he blew his whistle before the ball crossed the line, so regardless of whether the chap was offside or not, he HAD to give a free kick to someone or, as it turned out, a drop ball if he realised he got it wrong. To say it was hard on CUFC is an understatement of sizable proportions!
Never in 30 odd years of watching football have I ever seen anything like it. And the strangest thing is that, in truth, we may never really know what was going on inside his head. One thing's for sure, I'll give him full marks for having the balls to face up to not one but two changes of heart!
I suppose after that it was obvious we'd go on and win the game!
Final thought before I head up to bed, still shaking my head, is Sir Chris has a lot of work to do if this Charlton team are to push for promotion.