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Match Report


Posted Tue 16 Sep 14 at 23:26 PM

Charlton 1 Wolves 1

Olly Groome reports from The Valley

They may have lost their 100 percent home league record, but it is still magnificent seven for Charlton as they continue their unbeaten start to the season.

It is mid-September and Bob Peeters is still yet to taste defeat in the league with seven games now having past.

And despite picking up just one point rather than the now-customary three at The Valley, the Addicks could be happy with the draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in what was a closely-fought encounter in SE7.

Andre Bikey-Amougou had given his side the lead, and celebrated the fact, in spectacular fashion in the first-half before Danny Batth grabbed a deserved equaliser as the two sides shared the spoils.

There were two changes to the side which gained all three points over Watford at The Valley three days earlier with Joe Gomez coming in for the rested Chris Solly while Lawrie Wilson slotted into the right-wing berth in place of Johann Berg Gudmundsson who could not recover from a thigh strain in time for the visit of Kenny Jackett’s men.

Meanwhile, there was a place for new arrival Frederic Bulot amongst the substitutes.

Charlton made another steady start to proceedings with The Valley rocking yet again under the lights as the Addicks made first headway.

Johnnie Jackson seemingly switched roles with Igor Vetokele with four minutes on the clock with the latter sitting deep to very nearly play in the skipper.

The Angolan bent a perfectly-placed ball round the back of the Wolves defence to allow Jackson to spring the offside trap and race through. But with a heavy touch, the ball ran through to the arms of former Charlton loanee Carl Ikeme.

Two minutes later the Addicks were nearly in again.

This time, Jordan Cousins sent in a dangerous left-wing cross which was met well by George Tucudean, but the Romanian’s powerful header flew just wide of the post before he fired Vetokele’s lay-off wide of the other upright moments later.

It was thirteen minutes before the visitors had their first sight of goal, and it was via a somewhat unique effort as James Henry sent in an improvised, looping shot with his back to goal which forced Stephen Henderson to scramble back before tipping the ball over well to the safety of a corner.

And on 17 minutes they came closer still.

While Gomez was caught out with a floated ball over the top, Bakary Sako nearly found a way in as Tal Ben Haim was forced to usher the ball out of play and into the side-netting, closely avoiding an own-goal.

The pendulum had swung the way of Wolves and the visitors had another chance when Sako stung the palms of Henderson before Kevin McDonald fired a fierce low effort wide as Jackett’s side enjoyed a spell of pressure in possession.

But just as Wolves were getting on top, the Addicks fired themselves in front against the run of play.

With 25 minutes gone, Vetokele chased down a lost cause to force a corner for his side which Cousins duly delivered.

His ball in was met by a sumptuous side-footed volley at the near post by Bikey-Amougou – the unlikeliest of sources for such a finish – as the ball rocketed into the top right-hand corner to put Charlton in front.

And as unlikely as the finish was from the one the Covered End call ‘Beast’, the celebration simply defied physics as the big man showed his gymnastics skills to perform a couple of flips in front of the Jimmy Seed stand.

With the home side firmly in the ascendency, they went straight at their opponents again and could have gone 2-0 up just 90 seconds later when Vetokele played in Tucudean brilliantly.

The forward played the patient game, finally breaking through one-on-one but could only watch as his delicate finish rolled agonisingly wide.

Wolves responded well to the hosts’ sudden onslaught and came millimetres away from an equaliser when George Saville’s shot along the ground beat Henderson but not the post as it bounced back off the inside and along the goal-line before the Addicks were able to clear to safety.

Another low shot from distance, this time courtesy of Lee Evans, fizzed wide to have Peeters’ men worried, but not before Tucudean missed a glorious chance to extend his side’s lead.

When Vetokele did superbly well to knock back a deep cross into the path of his strike partner, the Romanian, with acres of time and space, fluffed his lines as he swung and kicked thin air when it seemed easier to make a connection and, in turn, punish Wolves further.

As it was, Charlton had to settle for their solitary goal advantage going into the break.

It was end-to-end stuff as the second half got under way, with both sides exchanging possession as they went in search of a goal.

The Addicks, forever dangerous on the counter, continued to look threatening going forward while Sako forced another good save from Henderson; drilling a shot towards the near post which the Irishman palmed over the bar.

Moments later Clarke selfishly took a shot when he really should have squared to an unmarked Nouha Dicko in front of goal before the same player skewed another shot wide shortly after.

The Addicks responded  with a tame Yoni Buyens shot on the volley as they were forced to soak up the second-half pressure of the visitors.

Henderson was fast becoming the hero, keeping out yet another decent Wolves effort from Sako, but he couldn’t keep out their equaliser which came from the resultant corner.

Batth met the delivery with a firm header which travelled through a crowded box before trickling over the line to draw the visitors level.

In truth, the goal had been coming and Peeters shuffled his pack to try and take the momentum back from the opponents as Bulot was introduced for his Addicks debut in place of Wilson with 15 minutes remaining.

Indeed, Charlton did get a foothold back in the game, but then, out of nowhere, Henry rattled the post with an angled effort for Wolves.

The match was very much there for the taking for either side and with 10 minutes left on the clock, the home side had a great chance to take it when Vetokele combined well with Jackson to knock a header into the skipper’s path. But, with just Ikeme to beat, he could only slide his shot wide to the right of the post.

The Addicks had the better of the closing exchanges as Franck Moussa threatened with a mazy run forward on 89 minutes but the move, ultimately, came to nothing before Charlton had one more bite of the cherry through Vetokele.

The striker got on the end of Jackson’s long ball to run through on goal in injury time but a heavy touch ensured Ikeme would be favourite as the stopper snuffed out the threat.

Despite losing the lead, it was another well-earned point for Peeters’ men who can now go into Saturday’s trip to Rotherham United in high spirits and without a loss to their name.

Charlton: Henderson; Gomez, Wiggins, Bikey-Amougou, Ben Haim; Wilson (Bulot 74), Buyens, Jackson, Cousins; Tucudean (Moussa 61), Vetokele.

Subs (not used): Pope, Morrison, Harriott, Church, Fox.

Booked: Tucudean 59 (foul on Stearman)

Goals: Bikey-Amougou 25

Wolves: Ikeme; Doherty, Batth, Stearman, Golbourne; McDonald, Evans, Henry (Jacobs 87), Saville (Dicko 46), Sako; Clarke (Edwards 81).

Subs (not used): McCarey, Rowe, van La Parra, Ricketts.

Goal: Batth 65

Att: 15,973 (1,644 from Wolves)

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