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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 05 Mar 13 at 23:01 PM

Peterborough 2 Charlton 2

Gary Haines reports from London Road

Charlton shared the spoils with Peterborough at London Road after an entertaining clash on Tuesday night. 

The Addicks turned an interval deficit into a 2-1 lead shortly before the hour after goals from skipper Johnnie Jackson and Danny Haynes. 

Danny Swanson had waltzed through to give Posh the lead in the 24th minute, and they concluded the scoring as Michael Bostwick burst onto a loose ball and sent a shot under David Button 19 minutes from time. 

And the visitors were grateful to a fine late save from Button and a goalline clearance from their skipper in stoppage time to halt the slide after successive home losses. 

It was the relegation-threatened hosts who grabbed the advantage through Swanson after the visitors were breached by his lung-busting burst, but Jackson continued his fine run of scoring for the Londoners at London Road by fastening onto a Callum Harriott lay-off and finding the bottom corner on 55 minutes. 

It was his eight goal of the season, after he netted twice here on his last visit, and Haynes then took his seasonal tally to seven by smashing home from close range three minutes later. 

The Addicks could not hold on to the lead as Bostwick fired home, but the late heroics in their own box showed the spirit in the Valley camp as they stopped the rot as their fine away form continued. 

The Addicks flew out of the blocks only the woodwork denied them a fourth minute lead as a crunching drive from Lawrie Wilson beat the home keeper Bobby Olejnik but crashed back off the bar. 

Haynes was inches away from getting on the end of a tempting centre across the face of goal from strike partner Ricardo Fuller and the Jamaican’s header was pouched by the keeper before the hosts showed signs of life. 

First Button saved from Mendez-Laing at his right upright and Gabriel Zakuani lifted a glorious chance over the bar when the ball fell kindly to him at a corner. 

But they were in front on 24 minutes as Swanson sauntered through the middle and produced a calm finish to match, giving his side a priceless advantage. 

It might have been 2-0 as Tommy Rowe sent Mendez-Laing clear on the left but his shot was turned over the bar by Button. 

The second half almost started in dramatic fashion as the hosts struck the post 13 seconds in. 

Worryingly, another ball from the left cut them wide open and Tomlin ran onto it but could only stab an effort against the outside of the upright as all in red drew a sizable sigh of relief. 

It proved pivotal in the context of the game as Jackson levelled matters 10 minutes in. 

It owed much to a clever pass from Harriott and the skipper bounded into the box and screwed a shot beyond the keeper and into the bottom right corner of the net. 

And it got even better three minutes later through Haynes as he followed up in a packed penalty box to smash the ball home after Michael Morrison was somehow denied on the line. 

Suddenly the Addicks were carrying all the threat, but a couple of half chances went begging before Bostwick levelled for Posh. 

Button will feel he might have done better as the well-struck shot went under him and in, and suddenly it was all square again. 

Olejnik tipped away a Jackson free-kick at full-stretch as the pendulum threatened to swing again but at the other end the skipper made his most crucial block of the night – and there were quite a few – after Button had foiled Rowe. 

In terms of team new Chris Powell made three changes ahead of the trip to London Road with the headline news a start on the left for Harriott. 

The academy product, who turned 19 a day earlier, made just a second career start at the home of Posh after impressing from the bench against Burnley at the weekend. 

There was also a recall at the back for Matt Taylor with Leon Cort suffering from a knee injury and Chris Solly shrugged off a dead leg to return at right-back. 

In a reshaped 4-4-2 line-up Wilson switched upfield on the right and Bradley Pritchard switched into a central role as Dorian Dervite dropped to the bench. 

And with Powell opting to pair Ricardo Fuller with Haynes up top, loan signing Jonathan Obika started the evening on the bench, having previously netted on this ground in a loan spell for Posh. 

David Button continued between the posts for the Addicks with Solly and Rhoys Wiggins flanking Taylor and Michael Morrison at the back. 

Skipper Jackson was partnered by Pritchard in the engine-room with Wilson and Harriott supplying the width and Fuller and Haynes up top. 

Obika and Dervite took their place on the visiting bench where they were joined by Ben Hamer, Cedric Evina, Andy Hughes, Danny Green and Scott Wagstaff. 

Posh were unchanged following their impressive 3-2 win at Blackburn Rovers at the weekend and knew a win would cut the gap on their visitors to four points. 

Hat-trick hero at Ewood Park Dwight Gayle was up front, supported by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Lee Tomlin while former West Ham youngster Grant McCann anchored the midfield. 

It was Charlton who made a bright start in Cambridgeshire, hassling and harrying at every opportunity, and fine work led to them almost claiming a fourth minute lead. 

The natives claims for hand-ball were turned down by the official as Wilson bustled in from the right and his superb drive beat Bobby Olejnik all ends up but crashed against the bar. 

The ball was half cleared to Harriott and his centre from the left was stabbed into the side-netting by Fuller. 

After more good work from Wilson soon afterwards, after a poor header across his own box by Gabriel Zakuani, Fuller flashed a dangerous ball across the face of goal but Haynes was inches away from converting in the middle. 

Button was quickly off his line to claim a deflected effort from Mendez-Laing while a first-time Haynes effort was gathered by Olejnik. 

The hosts were looking to hit Gayle as quickly as possible but at the back they were looking decidedly shaky in the early stages and they were lucky to escape after Olejnik hurled the ball straight to a red shirt on the Addicks right. Luckily for him, noting came of it. 

After a good Charlton break, Jackson found Wilson on the right and his cross was met by Fuller but his header was straight at Olejnik. 

Posh showed as an attacking entity for the first time on 21 minutes as Mark Little overlapped on the right and Mendez-Laing had two bites at the far post, but Button reacted well to save. 

Taylor cleared from under his bar as Mendez-Laing sought out Gayle in the middle. The comer was only half-cleared, and after a bout of head-tennis, the ball sat up gloriously for Zakuani only for the defender to hoist a great chance over the bar. 

And, having worked their way into the game, the hosts bagged the lead in the 24th minute as Swanson surged through from midfield and evaded the last-ditch challenge of Morrison before confidently tucking a shot into the bottom left corner of the net. 

The Addicks were initially rattled by the setback and struggled to make an impression on their rivals in the ensuing moments. 

The lively Mendez-Laing jinked inside and his shot deflected off Solly into the arms of Button. 

At this stage nothing was going for the visitors as referee Langford inadvertently blocked Pritchard’s efforts to spread the play, and Posh were in again 10 minutes before the break. 

Home skipper Tommy Rowe’s precise pass split the visitors rearguard wide open and the bustling Mendez-Laing romped in from the left before his shot was saved by the legs of Button, the ball looping behind for a corner. 

The Addicks were looking a tad uncertain at the back in the face of some enterprise from the hosts and the half ended with the hosts far happier. 

Some 13 seconds after the restart the Addicks were carved open again and were lucky to escape as Tomlin struck the post. 

The ball had quickly been switched to the left from the hosts and a ball through the middle was gobbled up by Tomlin whose placed effort hit the outside of the right post and dropped behind. 

It was a major let-off for the visitors who had scarcely had time to digest Powell’s interval instructions and Harriott half-volleyed wide from range seven minutes in as they strived to get a foothold back in the game. 

And foothold they got 10 minutes in through their skipper. 

Harriott was influential, slipping a ball through to Jackson who took a steadying touch and tucked a low shot across Olejnik and into the bottom right corner. 

It was just what the doctor ordered for the visitor, and they were positively brimming with confidence three minutes later as they grabbed the lead. 

There was much to admire about the build-up to the goal, as Taylor, up for a set-piece, cleverly hooked the ball into the box for an onside Solly on the right. 

The defender stood up a peach of a cross to the far post where Morrison’s header was somehow scrambled away – but only to Haynes who lashed it into the roof of the net from close in. 

The striker ripped off his shirt in celebration, and was promptly booked, and the away fans beyond the goal were delirious. 

Kane Ferdinand replaced McCann before the restart and another Charlton chance came on the break as Harriott and Pritchard combined with Wilson eventually centring and the unlikely figure of Wiggins, up on the edge of the box, did not know whether to stick or twist and the chance eventually passed. 

Haynes was off target with a looping header and when Haynes got away on the left and was confronted by a no-man’s land-bound Olejnik. 

Instead of picking up an unmarked Harriott on the edge of the box, he opted to float in a cross and Zakuani dived in to head away. 

Button kept out an angled effort from Gayle while Jackson put his body on the line to block from Tomlin after the ball bobbled dangerously in the box. 

After a foul from Pritchard right on the edge of the box, a free-kick flashed across goal before being deflected behind for a corner. 

Posh were on the up at this stage as they kept pressing forward, and it was defender Bostwick that levelled it up again as the clock reached 71. 

The centre-back, up as part of that push, latched on to a loose ball outside the box and drove in a shot squirmed under Button and went in. 

Having replaced an injured Zakuani with Shaun Brisley straight after the goal, Posh quickly brought on Leon Barnett for goalscorer Swanson. 

Powell sent on Obika for Fuller soon afterwards and after Pritchard was caught by the right angle of the box, Jackson stepped up and saw his curling free-kick brilliantly turned over the bar. 

Bostwick made a timely intervention as Jackson forced himself into a shooting position on the right, and Haynes headed his skipper’s corner wide. 

Barnett was booked after catching Pritchard late but the sub twisted and turned on the edge of the Addicks box before screwing wide 

After a quick throw, Obika spun sharply and saw one shot brilliantly blocked by a defender, before another was also foiled by some blue-shirted defiance. 

There were four added minutes for one side to try and win it and Dervite entered the fray for Haynes to try and shore things up. 

But the corner that immediately followed caused utter chaos in the box as Rowe’s header was dramatically saved by Button and an almighty scramble followed with Jackson among a cluster of players on the line that somehow smuggled the ball behind. 

Jackson was there again to block bravely as the seconds drained away and Jack Payne looped over in the dying moments. 

But there would be no winner as the final whistle ended an enthralling evening at two goals apiece. 

Charlton: Button; Solly, Wiggins, Taylor, Morrison; Wilson, Jackson, Pritchard, Harriott; Haynes (Dervite 90), Fuller (Obika 77). 

Subs (not used): Hamer, Evina, Hughes, Wagstaff, Green. 

Goals: Jackson 55, Haynes 58 

Booked: Haynes 58 (removing shirt) 

Peterborough: Olejnik, Rowe, Little, Bostwick, Zakuani (Brisley 72); McCann (Ferdinand 59), Swanson (Barnett74), Payne, Tomlin; Mendez-Lang, Gayle. 

Subs (not used): Day, Alcock, Newell, Knight-Percival. 

Goals: Swanson 24, Bostwick 71 

Booked: Barnett 83 (foul on Pritchard) 

Referee: O Langford 

Att: 6,050 

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