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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 01 Oct 13 at 22:00 PM

Charlton 1 Forest 1

Gary Haines reports from The Valley

The mood was lifted in SE7 on Tuesday night as Marvin Sordell earned Charlton a rousing Championship point against Nottingham Forest.

The striker pounced early in the second half to deservedly cancel out ex-Addick Andy Reid’s opener for the visitors - and the only thing missing after that was a Charlton winner.

Former Valley skipper Reid gave the visitors the lead in the third minute when his free-kick sailed over Ben Hamer and in.

Charlton forced their way back into it and held the upper hand for most of the remaining 87 minutes.

And Sordell, back in the starting line-up after a frustrating start to life in SE7, swooped to turn home a low cross early in the second period.

Amid a passion-packed performance, their best of the season by a margin, the Addicks went desperately close to winning it after that.

The excellent Jordan Cousins was denied by the post at the start of an incredible passage of play that saw shots raining in at will.

And at the back a solid defensive display kept a star-studded Forest frontline at bay, rendering their efforts few and far between.

The only thing that was missing, sadly, was a winning goal.

But a battling point after such a traumatic opening offered Chris Powell much to build on.

A Forest side flying high in the Championship were hustled and harried but the hungry hosts who put the setback behind them and set to work repairing the damage.

There was energy, enterprise, commitment, heart, and such was Charlton’s threat going forward they reduced the visitors to panicky, hesitant work when in possession themselves.

On another night the hosts would have won comfortably, but with Blackpool in SE7 on Saturday more of the same – and two added points – will be on the agenda.

After a difficult 10 days the last thing Powell would have wanted was for his side to fall behind early – but they did as early as the third minute.

There seemed little on as Reid stood over the ball out towards the far touchline, but the Irishman boasts a wand of a left-foot and floated a set-piece into the mix which left Hamer in all kinds of problems as it veered over him and nestled in the back of the net.

Charlton’s response was good as they rode the wave of some terrific support, and they certainly had the better of things for most of the opening period.

The only thing missing after some good approach play was a cutting edge; a sad reflection on their season to date.

The impetus and positivity was certainly in evidence though as Callum Harriott buzzed around in a free role behind the strikers, and Karl Darlow was far busier than his counterpart Hamer.

He saved from Dale Stephens, although Forest served note of their danger on the break as Jamie Mackie bustled through and Lawrie Wilson had to scuttle back and hook the ball off the line.

Wilson fired narrowly wide towards the end of the half and Karl Darlow, by far the busier keeper in the opening period saved brilliantly from Stephens in stoppage time, before the midfielder curled just over in the aftermath.

The Addicks were back in it, and deservedly so, four minutes after the break

Sordell was the man on target, swooping from close range to convert a dangerous low cross from Wilson.

Forest, who had been decidedly off-colour for much of the game, looked to regroup after a couple of substitutions.

They showed more in the middle third of the game, but most of the threat belonged to the Addicks.

Cousins came closest when he hit the post and there were several other near misses in front of a magnificent home crowd that scarcely stopped singing all game.

Sadly a win eluded their heroes, but nobody in attendance could leave saying they hadn’t given it their all.

The season starts here.

In terms of team news there was a recall up front for Sordell as Powell made three changes from the weekend defeat at Burnley.

The striker joined Simon Church up front with Callum Harriott operating in a free role behind the frontline.

There was also a change at the back as Richard Wood came in for Dorian Dervite while skipper Johnnie Jackson and Yann Kermorgant were ruled out with niggles and Bradley Pritchard missed out due to a concussion sustained at the weekend.

Chris Solly and Leon Cort were also absent with long-term injuries with Jordan Cook returning to the bench.

Ben Hamer was between the posts for the home side with Wilson and Rhoys Wiggins flanking Michael Morrison and Wood at the back.

The three-man central midfield unit saw a full Valley debut for Cousins alongside Dale Stephens and Mark Gower with Harriott in an advanced role behind Church and Sordell.

Reserve keeper Ben Alnwick was joined on the bench by Cedric Evina, Dervite, Hughes, Cameron Stewart, Cook and Pigott.

Forest, high-flying after a derby success against Derby, fielded striker Dexter Blackstock, a man with a knack of scoring against the Addicks, and further strike options were provided by Matt Derbyshire and Jamie Mackie.

Midfielder Henri Lansbury scored in this fixture last season while defender Jack Hobbs scored at the weekend.

There was also a former Addick in the visiting line-up in the shape of Reid, and the Irishman made an immediate impact, opening the scoring just three minutes in.

After the hosts conceded a free-kick out on the right, Reid assumed duties and promptly curled the ball into the dangerzone and beyond Hamer who misjudged the flight of the ball and could not stop it floating over him and nestling in the back of the net.

It was a horrible start for the Londoners but that did not deter the supporters who cranked up the noise levels.

They were offered optimism as Harriott burst through midfield and into space but the opening eventually broke down.

Reid was wide from range while a deflected Wiggins shot was glanced goalwards by Church before being touched behind by Karl Darlow.

When in possession there was ample space to exploit for the hosts and Wiggins got forward well again in the 18th minute with his low cross pinballing around before Forest hacked clear.

After a Gower cross was brought down by Church, Stephens nipped in and saw a low drive pouched by Darlow as the Wales man shaped to shoot.

All in all it was a positive response for the hosts and they had a penalty shot turned down, after a cross clattered against Cohen after Sordell couldn’t make a clean connection in the middle.

Darlow’s fingertips turned a fiercely driven Wiggins cross over as the Addicks pressed for a way back into it, but they needed to be on their guard at the other end with Mackie very nearly doubling Forest’s lead on the half hour.

Mackie burst through the middle and took advantage of a couple of handy ricochets and the ball trundled away from Hamer before the covering Wilson swept up behind him and cleared away from close to the line.

At the other end Wilson found himself deep in Forest territory six minutes before the break, and when the ball fell back to him on the edge of the box, he took aim with a curling effort that flew inches wide.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, Stephens cut inside before battering a shot that was shovelled away by Darlow.

Church couldn’t capitalise on the rebound but still Forest couldn’t clear and Stephens wriggled into space before planting an angled effort inches wide.

There was applause from the home fans at the break, despite the deficit, and plenty of optimism for the second period with Forest far happier to head for the dressing rooms.

Blackstock’s early header was snared by Hamer with Sordell’s shot on the turn similarly saved at the other end.

The on-loan striker fared far better four minutes in, however, as he hauled his side level.

After sweeping forward on the left, Harriott’s woeful shot inadvertently turned into a pinpoint crossfield pass to Wilson on the right.

He looked up and lashed the ball across goal and there was Sordell to sweep home clinically.

It was totally deserved on the balance of play and having raised the roof, the Addicks pressed for a second.

Forest were at sixes and sevens at the back as Sordell’s low effort was saved low by Darlow.

Derbyshire made way for Simon Cox and Dan Harding came on for Nathaniel Chalobah as the visitors regrouped.

And as Forest came more into it, Reid collected a slipped pass but could only fire over the bar.

Back at the other end Church had claims for a penalty turned down after more mayhem in the box while a superb low cross from Callum Harriott just eluded a stretching Wood in the middle.

Forest’s third chance saw Darius Henderson come on for Blackstock while Hughes entered the fray for the first time since the opening day of the season when replacing Gower on 74 minutes.

Sordell span away from his marker and fired wide from range and when unlikely trio Hughes, Morrison and Cousins combined at a free-kick and the latter stabbed wide.

Church, having required treatment twice in quick succession, was unable to continue as Pigott came on 12 minutes from time.

There was an almighty let-off for the visitors three minutes later.

Pigott teed up Cousins at the start of an incredible phase of play with the midfielder’s shot cannoning off the post.

The youngster had another stab, as did Pigott with Stephens eventually lifting a shot over the bar as the natives willed the ball in.

Sadly it wasn’t to be and Pigott nodded down for Harriott soon afterwards with the youngster hoisting over.

Forest were still very much in it at 1-1 and after a period of pressure it took a wonderful sliding block from Cousins to repel an effort from Cohen that may have put them back in front.

It epitomised the efforts of the youngster on the night and there were a couple of towering headers.

After play continued following what looked like a Charlton foul, Wiggins had space in front of him on the left and his low cross was cut out by Harding with Pigott all alone on the far side.

Lansbury was booked for dissent before Dervite replaced Harriott in stoppage time.

Following a Wiggins centre Morrison volleyed over from a tight angle in the first of four added minutes, and towards the end Stephens’ free-kick from the right sailed beyond all and sundry in a packed goalmouth and dropped behind.

The momentum was with the hosts hosts as they searched for a winner that, on the balance of play, would have been deserved, but time was against them. And in the end Forest were grateful when Fred Graham blew his final whistle. 

Charlton: Hamer; Wilson, Wiggins, Wood, Morrison; Cousins, Stephens, Gower (Hughes 74); Harriott (Dervite 90); Church (Pigott 78), Sordell.

Subs (not used): Alnwick, Evina, Dervite, Stewart, Cook.

Goal: Sordell 49

Nottingham Forest: Darlow; Lichaj, Collins, Hobbs, Cohen; Chalobah (Harding 55), Lansbury, Reid, Mackie; Blackstock (Henderson 70), Derbyshire (Cox 55).

Subs (not used): De Vries, Halford, Jara Reyes, Abdoun

Goal: Reid 3

Referee: F Graham

Att: 15,567 (1,778 Forest)    

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