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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 27 Oct 12 at 17:30 PM

Wolves 1 Charlton 1


Gary Haines reports

Lawrie Wilson’s first goal for Charlton earned the Addicks a comeback point against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday.

The versatile right-sider pounced to level the scores in the 57th minute after Rob Hulse had twice been denied.

It cancelled out a 12th-minute volley from Bakary Sako that had lifted the home side, with the Addicks containing until the break – and then springing to life in the second period.

An incredible goalmouth black from Kevin Doyle to deny his own player, Tongo Doumbia, proved pivotal, with Wilson equalising moments later.

And Hulse went close to snatching a winner on several occasions, seeing one header fly wide, another shot saved by former Addick Carl Ikeme before another late effort drifted wide.
 
But it was a satisfactory point for the men in black and white, who are now unbeaten in their last four away matches.

The hosts took an early lead on 12 minutes when Jermaine Pennant and Kevin Foley combined on the right, with the latter’s cross volleyed home sweetly by Sako.

It was the worst possible start for the visitors whose pre-match plan to stifle Wolves in the early stages quickly made way for Plan B.

That largely saw the home threat stifled with Ben Hamer making a clutch of routine stops, and Charlton’s patience almost paid off in the 37th minute when they were a whisker away from a leveller.

Salim Kerkar collected a pass on the edge of the area and turned sharply before letting fly with a curling drive that flew inches wide.

The Addicks thus went into the second period with hope and after Kevin Doyle unwittingly denied Wolves a second goal – when he blocked a thunderous drive from teammate Tongo Doumbia on the line – they drew level shortly before the hour mark.

It owed much to a superb cross in from Evina and after Hulse was denied by first Carl Ikeme and then the post, Wilson swooped to score his first senior goal for the club.

Hulse might have struck again in the ensuing moments as he powered one cross wide and then saw an angled drive palmed round the post by Ikeme.

The dynamic of the game had clearly changed and Hulse guided another header across goal and wide with Sako spurning a good late chance for the hosts as honours ended even.

In terms of team news, Charlton fielded an unchanged side for Saturday’s clash at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Addicks boss Chris Powell pitched in the same starting XI from the impressive midweek draw at Elland Road.

Dale Stephens, who suffered a hamstring niggle in the warm-up at Leeds, did not make the trip to the West Midlands so Bradley Pritchard, a late inclusion on Tuesday, continued in the engine room.

Powell again plumped for a 4-4-1-1 formation and with Ricardo Fuller also sidelined with a hamstring complaint it was Rob Hulse that leads the line up top.

And Cedric Evina continued at left-back with Chris Solly in his preferred position on the right, behind the versatile Wilson. Dorian Dervite, who netted the leveller in midweek, continued in a holding midfield role.

There was a return to the bench for Matt Taylor, who returns to the first team fold following a foot injury sustained in the build up to the home game with Hull City in late August.

Ben Hamer continued between the posts for the visitors with Solly and Evina flanking Leon Cort and Michael Morrison at the back.

Wilson and Salim Kerkar supplied the width either side of sitting midfielder Dervite and Bradley Pritchard with Johnnie Jackson playing behind Hulse.

Taylor was joined on the bench by David Button, Danny Hollands, Abdul Razak, Danny Green, Jordan Cook and Bradley Wright-Phillips.

The hosts, who were also unchanged, boasted dangermen Doyle and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake up front, the latter who had netted in each of his last four outings against the Addicks (three for Wolves and once for Plymouth Argyle).

Home skipper Karl Henry was also partial to a goal against the Londoners while Pennant, on loan from Stoke City, was out wide.

In goal for the hosts was a familiar face to Addicks fans in Ikeme, who played five times for the club during a loan spell in 2009/10.

After a steadying opening from both sides the first shot in anger was a wayward effort from range from Wilson on six minutes, after a Jackson free-kick was half cleared.

Dervite tried his luck on the volley after a patient more from the visitors, but the ball again whizzed past Ikeme’s left upright – and it was Wolves that broke the deadlock with their first notable raid forward as the clock reached 12.

Sako’s only contribution to date was to get tackled by his own player Pennant in the opening stages, but both were actively involved here.

Pennant teed up the overlapping Kevin Foley on the right and his accurate cross picked out an unmarked Sako who volleyed home well into the bottom corner of the net.

The Addicks were still rocking when the midfielder was left all alone again two minutes later, but thankfully could only stub a volley into the ground with Ebanks-Blake also lurking in close attendance after Wolves again got in on the right.

Pennant was the supplier this time, but the Londoners breathed again.

A stretching volley from Kerkar was parried round the post by Ikeme, but the Addicks’ first corner of the game came to nothing. 

At the other end a clumsy foul by Kerkar on Pennant out on the right gave the hosts a free-kick and Sako attempted to catch the visitors out with a whipped shot which was flipped over by Hamer.

Ikeme dived at the feet of Hulse after a clever pass from Pritchard while Wolves centre-backs were not afraid to raid forward when the chance took them.

Roger Johnson had bounded across halfway to no avail earlier and in the 29th minute Berra surged forward but saw his tame shot held low by Hamer.

Wilson flung himself in the way of a Stephen Ward drive soon afterwards and from the corner Johnson stole ahead of his man but could only turn the ball over the bar.

Hulse’s shot on the turn was saved low by Ikeme after positive work from Wilson on the right while on a quick break Tongo Doumbia was denied by Hamer after his pass was initially cut out by a defender.

Charlton’s best moment of the half then arrived seven minutes before the break.

Solly joined in on the right, collecting a lay-off from Pritchard and rolling the ball across to Kerkar and he span neatly and curled a shot agonisingly wide of the left post.

Ikeme was scrambling across but the keeper would have been beaten had the shot been on target; the Addicks fans looking on from an angle thinking the ball was in as it rippled the wrong side of the side-netting.

Johnson’s stooping header from another Sako free-kick, was clutched by Hamer as the Wolves fans behind the goal sucked the ball in.

That was the last action of the half but there was a half-time engagement – literally – after one birthday girl was surprised with a marriage proposal.

Thankfully for the nervous groom-to-be, he got the answer he was looking for, playful chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ ignored.

The hosts made a change at the break as Ebanks-Blake was replaced by Bjorn Sigurdarson, and Jackson was ushered out of making a decisive contact with a header following a good early cross from Solly.

There was an incredible let-off for the visitor 10 minutes in, however.

After Dervite was dispossessed way upfield the golden shirted raid reached Pennant on the right and he had plenty of time to pick out a cross for Doyle at the far post.

The Irishman’s header from a narrow angle clattered off a defender and fell appetisingly for Doumbia who looked certain to score.

His shot was not lacking in power, just ask Doyle who unwittingly took the ball flush in the head on the goalline to keep the ball out.

Better still he was offside, allowing the escape mission to be completed.

It got even better two minutes later as Wilson levelled matters.

It came after a gorgeous cross from the left from Evina and Hulse stole in front of his marker to volley goalbound.

Ikeme got his big frame in the way of the initial effort and then the striker stabbed the second shot against the post before the ball rolled across for the gleeful Wilson to turn home from close range.

It was his first goal for the club, just minutes after Doyle’s goal-saving contribution at the other end, and the Londoners were back in it.

They ought to have gone in front moments later when a great cross from the right was on a silver salver for Hulse in the middle, but the striker’s thumping header was off target.

From a goal down, suddenly it was Charlton that had the momentum and Wilson played Hulse in on goal on 65 minutes.

The striker took a touch into the box and his fierce angled shot was superbly tipped round the post by Ikeme.

Suddenly the angst among the home fans was palpable, as was the belief amid the four-figure away contingent.

The nerves were jangling after Hamer didn’t release the ball from his hands quick enough, offering Wolves a free-kick right on he edge of the box on 79 minutes.

Thankfully Hamer redeemed himself with a low save from Sako’s low free-kick before David Edwards and Anthony Forde entered the fray for Wolves for Henry and Pennant.

Powell then sent on Cook to replace Kerkar for the closing six minutes and Wolves had a sniff of goal soon afterwards as a long throw landed nicely for Doumbia, but his half-volley was saved low by Hamer.

A looping header from Jackson was easy for Ikeme before Hulse was booked for catching Doyle.

The striker then went close to snatching a winner in the last regulation minute.

Wolves were opened up as the ball was threaded across to the right and Solly stood a cross into the dangerzone which was headed down, across goal and wide by Hulse.

After Hollands replaced Pritchard, Sako spurned a chance to make himself a hero at the other end, slicing high and wide after a cross was headed into his path.

Hollands proved his worth with a fine challenge on Doyle as he chased a last-gasp pass through, and that proved the last act, the boos from the home crowd highlighting how well the visitors had fared. 

Charlton: Hamer; Solly, Evina, Cort, Morrison; Wilson, Pritchard (Hollands 90), Dervite, Jackson, Kerkar (Cook 84); Hulse.

Subs (not used): Button, Taylor, Razak, Green, Wright-Phillips.

Goal: Wilson 57

Booked: Hulse 88 (foul on Doyle)

Wolves: Ikeme; Foley, Ward, Berra, Johnson; Pennant (Forde 82), Henry (Edwards 82) Sako; Doyle, Ebanks-Blake (Sigurdarson 46).

Subs (not used): De Vries, Stearman, Batth, Davis.

Goal: Sako 12

Referee: C Pawson.

Att: 22,198

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