Sat 13 Apr 13
at 16:45 PM
Barnsley 0 Charlton 6
Gary Haines reports
Ruthless Charlton hit nine-man Barnsley for six after an incredible goal blitz at Oakwell on Saturday.
The Londoners demolished the in-form hosts with the most convincing result in the tenure of Chris Powell and a club record away from home to almost certainly seal Championship survival on a dream afternoon.
Not since 1976 had the Addicks netted six times in a game with Southampton the Valley victims then, and the sizable success eclipses the 6-1 win at Luton Town in February 1962.
Relegation-threatened Barnsley came into the game having won six of their last seven at home this year, but that record was torn to shreds on an astonishing afternoon in South Yorkshire.
Bradley Pritchard set the ball rolling in the fourth minute, following up to score from close range and skipper Johnnie Jackson’s 11th of the season made it 2-0 on 19 minutes.
Yann Kermorgant took his seasonal tally to nine three minutes after the break, opening the floodgates in the process.
Callum Harriott’s shot went straight though Luke Steele for 4-0 a minute shy of the hour mark and Stephen Dawson’s foul on Kermorgant earned him a straight red card three minutes later as the Tykes’ nightmare afternoon continued to unravel.
Substitute Salim Kerkar fired home his first goal for the club 10 minutes from time and the tireless Ricardo Fuller, professionally fouled when clean through by Tom Kennedy for his 86th-minute red card, iced the cake in stoppage time with a well-deserved curling effort.
It capped an afternoon of near fantasy football at a ground the club have not tasted success at for 18 years.
Indeed they had managed just one goal in their last four visits to Oakwell, before this goal glut, and a third successive away clean sheet lifted the club’s goal difference into positive figures.
In short it was the perfect performance, and lifts the Addicks to ninth in the table with four matches to go, eight points clear of the bottom three with the tortured Tykes now sitting third bottom.
The Addicks were off to a flier as they grabbed the lead with their first serious excursion into Tykes territory.
Persistent work from Fuller out on the right triggered the opening and he picked out Chris Solly who crossed into the dangerzone. Kermorgant fastened on to his cross with a sweet first-time half-volley, and when keeper Luke Steele could not hold on a gleeful Pritchard followed up to score.
It was a forceful start from the Londoners and Jackson doubled their lead before the 20-minute mark.
It was a brilliantly-crafted move resulting in goalscorer Pritchard turning provider, as a Kermorgant lay-off picked in out in all kinds of room and he teed up his captain to score after a sumptuous dummy bought him space.
Home keeper Luke Steele desperately back-tracked to tip a deep cross into the mix from Jackson over the bar while the slow-starting Tykes only came to life once Jason Scotland was introduced from the bench before the half hour mark.
He immediately caused problems on the right and after his long and winding run, the ball sat up nicely for Jacob Mellis who was denied on the line by Rhoys Wiggins.
There was more spirit from the hosts at the end of the half but no serious chances as the Londoners retreated with a comfortable advantage.
And after Chris Dagnall skewed a great chance wide for the hosts two minutes after the restart, the visitors cashed in in devastating fashion.
First Wiggins sent in a peach of a cross from the left for Kermorgant, who couldn’t miss with a bullet header.
Hamer saved well from Dagnall’s swerving drive and then kept out Stephen Foster’s header before Harriott fired home a fourth, although keeper Steele was demoralised after letting the ball flash straight through him.
If Barnsley thought things could get no worse than they were mistaken as midfielder Dawson was banished after catching Kermorgant inside the centre-circle, although video replays suggested he might have been unlucky.
Further chances from Fuller, sub Jon Obika and Harriott went awry for the visitors as they put the hammer down and sub Kerkar made it five soon after coming on, finishing off after Obika was crowded out.
Kennedy then became the second to Tyke an early bath as he hauled down Fuller as he went through on goal.
Still there was time for the Londoners to heap more misery on the tortured hosts in stoppage time with Fuller rightfully enjoying his moment.
The striker completed the half dozen with a fine finish from the edge of the box after Pritchard was denied by the hapless Steele.
It completed a memorable afternoon at Oakwell that had those with a Valley persuasion scrambling for the record books.
And when they emerged, there was history-making news on what will be a never forgotten day for those 672 supporters in attendance.
In terms of team news Powell opted for an unchanged line-up following last week’s win against Leeds United.
So Fuller and Kermorgant were again paired together up front with last week’s late goal hero Obika primed on the bench with Powell resisting the urge to start with a 4-5-1 formation.
There was a return to the reserve ranks for Danny Green but injury ruled out Dale Stephens.
Ben Hamer continued between the posts for the visitors with Solly and Wiggins flanking Michael Morrison and Dorian Dervite at the back.
Skipper Jackson and Andy Hughes patrolled the central-midfield unit with Pritchard and Callum Harriott the wide options and Kermorgant and Fuller up top.
Ex-Barnsley loan man David Button was on the bench for Charlton and him, Obika and Green were joined there by Lawrie Wilson, Kerkar, Mark Gower and Matt Taylor.
The hosts, who plundered priceless points from their last two away matches at Crystal Palace and Cardiff City pitched in Chris O’Grady and Dagnall up front while Tomasz Cywka, who netted the winner at The Valley, was a threat from midfield.
The influential David Perkins was also in the engine-room alongside the tenacious Stephen Dawson and former Addicks loan man Martin Cranie was on the home bench.
Amid a terrific start the visitors struck early as they grabbed a fourth minute lead.
It owed much to good work on the right from Fuller who got the better of left-back Tom Kennedy and picked out Solly, whose centre fell to Kermorgant.
The Frenchman’s smart snap shot was only parried by Steele and there was Pritchard following up to turn the loose ball home from close range.
It was a dream start for the visitors who were as bright and positive as the Tykes were sluggish in the opening stages.
O’Grady’s shot warmed the hands of Hamer on 12 minute, the Addicks keeper not surprised by a first-time shot from the edge of the box.
Home right-back Scott Wiseman then joined in upfield but, off balance, hoisted an effort high and wide from range.
Charlton were by far the better side, however, and doubled their lead in fine fashion in the 19th minute.
It was a mixture of great approach play and poor defending as Pritchard was somehow allowed to ghost into space in the box following a cushioned pass from Kermorgant after a lofted ball into the box from Hughes.
To his goal, Pritchard quickly added an assist, sensibly laid the ball off to Jackson although the skipper still had work to do.
But it was mission accomplished thanks to a magical dummy that took his marker put of the game, and allowed him to drive low under Steele for 2-0.
It was fantastic stuff from the Londoners and left relegation-threatened Barnsley with it all to do.
After two fouls in quick succession from Dervite, the Tykes had a presentable free-kick, but Jacob Mellis could only shoot into the wall.
Moments later Hamer routinely held a Dagnall effort to his left, but the Addicks were still holding their own.
Steele, whose propensity for punching at corners was as regular as it was mystifying, had to back-track and tip over a curling ball into the danger zone from Jackson over, and Kermorgant headed off target from the resulting corner.
David Flitcroft made a change before the restart as Jason Scotland, a scorer against the Addicks for Ipswich earlier this season, replaced Cywka before the half-hour mark.
He immediately injected some sparkle into the hosts and his first contribution was to cut in form the right and the ball eventually fell to Mellis on the edge of the box with his goalbound effort cleared off the line by Wiggins.
After a typically robust challenge from Solly on the near-post, the duo butted heads as play continued with a snarling Mellis by far the aggressor.
Despite Powell pointing out the altercation to the fourth official, no action was taken.
Bobby Hassell moved in unmarked to head wide at a Tykes corner on 37 minutes and although Barnsley were the brighter side late in the half, Hamer was scarcely tested as the visitors went in two goals to the good.
No doubt fired up by their boss at the break, Barnsley were quick starters after the resumption and two minutes in Scotland played Dagnall into space in the box, but the striker could only skew horribly wide when he should have at least made Hamer work.
It proved a pivotal miss as the Addicks responded with a third goal a minute later.
For the second successive Saturday there was an assist from Wiggins as the left-back’s brilliant cross was bulleted home at the far post by Kermorgant.
It was a dream start to the second period as the Frenchman gleefully grabbed the net behind the goal, right in front of the Addicks supporters.
There was a rally from the Tykes as Hamer kept out a shot from Dagnall that swerved right in front of him, before Solly mopped up.
Moments later Stephen Foster connected with a corner and Hamer darted to his left to somehow claw the ball to safety.
Fuller threaded a shot through a sea of players and just wide before Marlon Harewood came on for O’Grady.
And it was 4-0 a minute before the hour mark as Pritchard picked out Harriott on the left and the youngster cut inside before drilling in a shot that went straight through Steele and in.
The keeper should have done better, and remained rooted to the turf as the winger was congratulated.
After Jim O’Brien replaced Mellis, Morrison blocked gamely from Dagnall and Barnsley’s afternoon got even worse on 62 minutes as they were reduced to 10 men.
Dawson slid in to challenge Kermorgant in midfield and referee Eltringham rapidly brandished a red card.
Replays suggest the midfielder might have won the ball, but that was little consolation to the hosts or Dawson.
Kermorgant made way for Obika and Jackson was replaced by Gower as the clock reached 66 minutes, Morrison taking the armband.
Fuller shot wide after being released by Obika, and the substitute then dragged a shot tamely wide after the Tykes were at sixes and sevens at the back.
Hamer had watched an O’Brien shot fly wide before that and Harriott outwitted Dagnall before driving across goal and wide as the black shirted visitors sensed more blood.
Barnsley looked out for the count at this stage but the game Dagnall had shot blocked amid a goalmouth melee before Harriott made way for Salim Kerkar on 78 minutes.
Solly got in the way of an O’Brien shot before Kerkar got in on the act 10 minutes from time.
Livewire Obika wriggled into space in the box and when his shot was deflected out it sat up delightfully for Kerkar to turn home his first goal for the club.
The nightmare was far from over for the Tykes, either, as they were reduced to nine men four minutes from time.
Kennedy made the lonely walk this time after upending Fuller as he moved through on goal, with Eltringham offered no real choice.
Fuller, deserving of a goal, curled the free-kick wide and then hoisted high over from the edge of the box.
But he had his moment in added time, curling home from the edge of the box after Pritchard was denied by Steele.
There was just about time to kick-off before the final whistle put the Tykes out of their misery.
But for the Addicks, this was the stuff of utter fantasy. What a result.
Charlton: Hamer; Solly, Wiggins, Dervite, Morrison; Pritchard, Hughes, Jackson (Gower 66), Harriott (Harriott 78); Fuller, Kermorgant (Obika 66).
Subs (not used): Button, Taylor, Wilson, Green.
Goals: Pritchard 4, Jackson 19, Kermorgant 48, Harriott 59, Kerkar 80, Fuller 90
Barnsley: Steele; Wiseman, Kennedy, Foster, Hassell, Cywka (Scotland 29), Dawson, Perkins, Mellis (O’Brien 59); O’Grady (Harewood 57), Dagnall.
Subs (not used): Alnwick, Cranie, Rose, Jones.
Sent off: Dawson 62 (foul on Kermorgant), Kennedy 86 (foul on Fuller)
Referee: G Eltringham
Att: 9,469 (672 Charlton)