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Match Report


Posted Sat 17 Aug 13 at 16:45 PM

Barnsley 2 Charlton 2

Gary Haines reports from Oakwell Stadium

Charlton staged a fine recovery to pocket their first Championship point of the season on Saturday. 

Trailing 2-0 they were indebted to young substitute Jordan Cousins who halved the deficit in the 64th minute and the fight back was completed by Simon Church eight minutes later as he raced away to score with a clipped shot. 

The Londoners looked in real trouble 10 minutes into the second period as Chris O’Grady rose to head home his second of the afternoon for the Tykes. 

He had opened the scoring with a bundled effort on 16 minutes, with Ben Hamer’s miraculous stop from Chris Dagnall after Jacob Mellis hit the post, keeping Chris Powell’s side in it. 

It looked a long way back once O’Grady scored a second – the 6-0 drubbing here last season looking a world away – but the solidity provided by interval substitutes Leon Cort and Cousins and the increased influence in midfield of Mark Gower gave the Addicks a platform to progress. 

And having watched his side stage a similar recovery, albeit in a losing cause, at Derby County early last season to galvanise the troops, Powell will be hoping his side can build from here. 

The Addicks had actually started brightly on a grey Yorkshire afternoon, but their early work came to nothing as Barnsley quickly fond their stride. 

And after a clutch of dangerous-looking free-kicks and a handful of corners, they were ahead as a low cross from Golbourne was forced home at the far post by O’Grady. 

It was a finish as agricultural as they come, but it mattered not a jot to the Tykes, who like their visitors had nothing to show for their opening two league games. 

And it might have been worse but for Mellis firing against the post in an incredible let-off for the visitors that also saw Dagnall brilliantly denied by Hamer. 

It was an important stop in the context of the game, and Harriott went close soon afterwards when his shot, following a well-worked free-kick, was tipped round the post by Luke Steele. 

But the hosts were deservedly in front at the break - and doubled their lead 10 minutes in. 

O’Grady was again on target rising to head home a cross from Mellis and leave Charlton with it all to do. 

The fight back started when Cousins collected a half-cleared cross and sent home a bouncing shot and when Kermorgant’s lofted pass sent Church racing clear, the Wales striker put just enough on his shot to beat back-tracking defender Tom Kennedy. 

The game was on a knife-edge after that as Charlton sensed an unlikely win, but Powell will no doubt settle for a point and be delighted at his side’s character as the season’s tally got up and running. 

In terms of team news Powell made three changes for the visit to Oakwell. 

There was a first league start Simon Church in place of Marvin Sordell while the injured Johnnie Jackson made way for Dale Stephens in central midfield. 

The third switch was the inclusion of Lawrie Wilson in place of Danny Green with Michael Morrison taking the captain’s armband. 

Of course Oakwell was the scene of the incredible 6-0 away win last season, a new club record on the road, but after successive defeats at the start of the campaign a win by the slenderest of margins would be suffice for Powell. 

Jackson’s injury and Bradley Pritchard’s suspension, plus the summer departures of Salim Kerkar and Ricardo Fuller, mean just two scorers on that afternoon, Yann Kermorgant and Callum Harriott, were in the starting XI. 

Ben Hamer was again between the posts with Chris Solly and Rhoys Wiggins flanking Morrison and Dorian Dervite at the back. 

Stephens partnered Mark Gower in central midfield with Wilson also in the engine room. Harriott and Church started either side of Kermorgant up top. 

There were bench places for academy products Joe Pigott and Cousins and they were joined in reserve by young keeper Nick Pope, Leon Cort, Cedric Evina and Sordell. 

Stephen Dawson, harshly sent off when the sides met late last term was in the engine-room for the home side with David Perkins and Jacob Mellis in a three man central midfield unit. 

The firepower was supplied by Chris O’Grady and Chris Dagnall. 

After a bright start for the Addicks, Hamer had to dash off his line and bravely smother from Dagnall after a slip from Morrison. 

A Dagnall header over soon afterwards was deemed to have gone behind off an Addicks head and Dervite was booked on 12 minutes after tripping the home striker. 

It was a good response from the hosts as they quickly forced a third corner of the opening stages, but the Addicks held firm. 

The deadlock was broken as the clock reached 16, however, and it was the hosts who were celebrating. 

After Dagnall held the ball up on the left, Scott Golbourne joined in support and his low cross caused all manner of problems with O’Grady, under heavy pressure from Morrison, eventually bundled the ball home from close range. 

It was a poor way to concede the advantage so early on, and the net result was Charlton conceding first for the third successive game. 

They were almost further behind in the 25th minute as the post and then Hamer came to the rescue. 

Again the visitors were prised open at the back with Dervite outmuscled on the edge of the box before Mellis hammered a shot against the post. 

The danger was far from over as the ball was returned into the dangerzone and Dagnall was denied a certain goal by a magnificent point-blank stop from Hamer. 

It was a massive let-off for the visitors, who were almost level on 31 minutes. 

After a hand-ball right on the left side of the box, Gower cleverly switched the ball across towards Harriott, who had dashed into space. 

His first-time shot was heading towards the bottom left corner until Luke Steele plunged to make a fine diving stop. 

Perkins, injured in a jarring challenge against Stephens, lasted until the 33rd minute when he was replaced by Kelvin Etuhu. 

The switch back to a conventional 4-4-2 appeared to settle the visitors, but a loose pass from Stephens allowed Scott Wiseman to surge out of defence and into Addicks territory before firing well off target from range. 

A frantic first half soon came to a conclusion with Powell no doubt keen to address his beleaguered troops. 

There was a double change at the break as Stephens and Dervite made way for Cousins and Cort, the former making a first league appearance for the club and the latter a 50th outing. 

Mellis scooped high over the bar after an early Tykes corner and the meaty Jean-Yves M’voto soared to head wide at a free-kick. 

Breathing space was established 10 minutes in, however as O’Grady claimed his second goal of the game. 

Dagnall did the dirty work on the left and teed up Mellis whose accurate centre picked out O’Grady to head into the back of the net. 

It was simple, simple stuff, and the visitors were now staring down the barrel. 

After a quick break O’Grady charged through the middle and picked out Dawson, whose shot was clutched by Hamer and Addicks were looking ragged. 

Gower had a half-chance after the ball reached him in the box and his deflected shot bounced behind for a corner. 

After the flag-kick was fortunately kept alive thanks to a miss-control from the hosts, Kermorgant’s volleyed pass was met flush by Harriott but Steele got across to save at his right post. 

Then there was hope for the visitors, through Cousins. 

The youngster was well placed on the edge of the box to send a bouncing shot into the roof of the net, after Gower and Harriott had combined on the left. 

Steele had not dealt with the cross before the ball reached Cousins and the youngster celebrated his Championship bow with a goal. 

Barnsley reacted by replacing Mellis with Paul Digby midway through the half and either side of the change Dagnall was narrowly off target. 

O’Grady almost capitalised in a sequence or ricochets when his low shot was pouched by Hamer – but it was all square 18 minutes from time as Church chimed in. 

It was a beautifully worked goal too as Kermorgant’s brilliant flicked pass sent the Wales striker racing clear and he took the ball on before clipping it over Steele and despite the desperate attempts of backtracking defender Tom Kennedy, the ball nestled in the back of the net. 

The gleeful striker peeled off to celebrate in front of the away fans and suddenly, from nowhere, the Londoners had a sniff of a victory. 

The hard-working Dagnall made way for Jason Scotland before Harriott made way for Evina as the match reached its final quarter hour. 

Hamer saved a low effort from O’Grady with the game now on a knife-edge and Digby planted a free-header wide for the hosts at a corner three minutes from time. 

At the other end Cort connected with a Gower corner but the ball sailed wide and two added time corners were dealt with before Jim O’Brian shot well wide in the dying embers. 

And that proved the last significant act as the visitors celebrated a well-earned point. 

Charlton: Hamer; Solly, Wiggins, Morrison, Dervite (Cort 46); Wilson, Stephens (Cousins 46), Gower; Harriott (Evina 77), Church, Kermorgant. 

Subs (not used): Pope, Green, Sordell, Pigott. 

Goals: Cousins 64, Church 72 

Booked: Dervite 12 (foul on Dagnall) 

Barnsley: Steele; O’Brien, Golbourne, Kennedy, M’Voto, Wiseman; Perkins (Etuhu 33), Dawson, Mellis (Digby 67), Dagnall (Scotland 76), O’Grady. 

Subs (not used): Alnwick, McNulty, Cofie, Cywka. 

Goals: O’Grady 16, 55 

Booked: Wiseman 23 (unsporting conduct) 

Referee: J Simpson 

Att: 9,554 

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