Colchester United 3-3 Charlton Athletic
Saturday January 1, Weston Homes Community Stadium, (Att: 6,112)
Both sides ended with 10 men as high-flying Charlton Athletic came from behind three times to ensure a share of the spoils from their trip to Colchester United.
The home side got off to the perfect start when Anthony Wordsworth's corner was met my Matt Heath's diving header to put United ahead on 16 minutes.
However, Charlton were given the opportunity for an immediate riposte when Andy Bond was adjudged to have handled inside the area. Johnnie Jackson stepped up to convert the spot kick and level matters against his former side.
John Ward's men responded and Bond redeemed himself as he steered in Ashley Vincent's low centre from the right to restore the Essex club's advantage.
Charlton were back on level terms before the interval though. Paul Benson's header from a corner appeared to be kept out by the hand of David Perkins.
The U's man was given his marching orders and Jackson made no mistake from 12 yards to send the two sides in 2-2 at the half time whistle.
Despite being down to 10 men, it was United who re-took the lead just past the hour mark. A cross from the right was poorly dealt with in the Athletic defence and Wordsworth was on hand to sweep the ball home.
Once again though, Phil Parkinson's side restored parity. With 14 minutes left on the clock, Benson provided an acrobatic overhead finish to a bouncing ball in the Colchester box.
Benson turned from hero to villain three minutes from time though, as he earned a straight red card for a high challenge on John White.
A point apiece for both sides keeps Charlton in 3rd with Colchester just three points behind their London rivals in 10th.