John Ward delighted after U’s win at “champions-elect”

JOHN WARD paid tribute to his Colchester United side after the U’s picked up a fantastic away win at league leaders Charlton Athletic.

The Addicks slumped to their first defeat on home soil for almost a year as a world-class goal from Anthony Wordsworth and a fortuitous strike from Steven Gillespie gave his side all three points in the League One encounter.

And Ward admitted the win gave him extra satisfaction, especially after the U’s were denied a draw in the same fixture last season when Gillespie’s goal was controversially chalked off by the officials.

“We won here last year and lost 1-0,” joked Ward.

“We had an extremely good goal disallowed and that was in our thoughts but we have picked up an excellent victory against the champions-elect.

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“They are an extremely good team with very good players and when you win at a place like this you either get very lucky or work very hard.

“We have worked exceptionally hard but even the most biased of Charlton fan would find it hard to deny Anthony’s goal was absolute quality. The second one was a bit of a calamity for the goalkeeper but we have pulled a very good result out of the bag.”

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United took an early lead and continued to look dangerous going forward, despite being pegged back for long periods as the hosts cranked up the pressure.

But while Charlton had the majority of the chances - Johnnie Jackson hitting the bar and Bradley Wright-Phillips forcing a good save from Ben Williams - Colchester certainly did not ‘park the bus’ and worked hard defending from the front, creating openings when they could.

“I came here a couple of weeks ago and saw Charlton have a lot of the ball but be frustrated by Rochdale,” said Ward.

“But we tried to get to get Steven Gillespie in and around (Kayode) Odejayi and asked him to get forward when he could.

“I was disappointed that we worked extremely hard in the first period without retaining the ball at the top end of the pitch.

“They (Charlton) used the ball better than ourselves so we had to frustrate them the best we could.”

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