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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 30 Sep 14 at 17:41 PM

Iain Liddle reports from Carrow Road

The lengths Johnnie Jackson will go to in order to promote Charlton’s new show 1905, eh? 

The Addicks captain will be the guest presenter of Thursday’s debut effort on YouTube, but his first midweek star turn was scoring the winner at Carrow Road in what was undoubtedly Charlton’s result of the season so far. 

It is now 10 games unbeaten for Bob Peeters’ side but none were as breathless and as ultimately brilliant as this one in his short tenure as Head Coach. 

Charlton have not been short of resolve since being promoted to the Championship, but it was tested to the maximum against a Norwich side full of attacking talent and a raucous home crowd urging them in for the kill. 

Stephen Henderson was immaculate, the back four impenetrable, the midfield industrious and Igor Vetokele, up front on his own for the most, isolated but indefatigable. 

For most of the second half the Charlton fans would have been relishing the prospect of a dogged point, but thanks to Jackson they took all three. 

As Norwich pushed forward in numbers the visitors found space in attacking areas of their own and, with four minutes to go Jackson’s 20-yard drive deflected off the boot of Russell Martin and past a stranded John Ruddy to seal the win. 

Peeters made two changes to the side which drew 0-0 with Middlesbrough on Saturday with Joe Gomez replacing Chris Solly at right-back and Lawrie Wilson stepping in for the injured Johann Berg Gudmundsson ahead of him on the wing. 

Academy striker Karlan Ahearne-Grant retained his place on the bench, while midfielder Jack Munns was also named in a matchday 18 for the first time in his Addicks career. 

Norwich, meanwhile, named a squad which would be the envy of many in the Championship and packed with Premier League experience. 

Despite the straight switches in personnel, Peeters tinkered with the Addicks’ regular tactical set-up and started in a 4-5-1 formation with Jordan Cousins moved infield and Frederic Bulot on the left of midfield. 

The Canaries were quick out of the traps and gave a glimpse of the quality within their ranks as Wes Hoolahan threaded a needle with a through-ball to find Lewis Grabban and the striker forced a good save from Stephen Henderson. 

The pair combined again soon after, but this time the former Crystal Palace frontman’s effort dribbled harmlessly wide of the post. 

As has been the case all season, Peeters’ Charlton side were resolute in their determination to pass the ball out from their own penalty area and soon began to grow into the game. 

A quick spin from Bulot won a free-kick 20 yards from goal in a central area which Johnnie Jackson curled over the bar, before lone frontman Igor Vetokele showed good feet to create space and take aim at John Ruddy. 

The visitors were content to maintain possession in their own half and invited Norwich on to try and win it back in high areas. 

No doubt this was designed, in part, to try and tire the enthusiastic Norwich forward line but it also had the bonus effect of frustrating the near sold-out home ends. 

Norwich began to re-establish control of the game with the drifting figure of Hoolahan the most influential performer on the pitch. 

The Republic of Ireland midfielder continually found space in attacking areas and between Charlton lines and regularly played clever flicked passes into the path of his attacking teammates. 

A moment of controversy arrived as the first half drew to a close when Norwich’s in-swinging corner was met by Henderson, who collided with Bradley Johnson, before home skipper Russell Martin poked the ball into the unguarded net. 

As the home fans roared in celebration, the referee pointed towards the centre-circle to the dismay of the home defence who felt there had been a clear foul on their goalkeeper. 

The panic lasted a mere few seconds as it then emerged that a foul had been given and replays inside the press area clearly showed Johnson had knocked Henderson over with his arm. 

Norwich fans behind the goal, as is to be expected, appealed furiously and vented their anger at the referee. 

A minute later, when Ben Haim body-checked  Cameron Jerome and no foul was given, the sense of injustice from those in yellow was turned up a notch. 

Neither manager made a substitution at the break, but Charlton re-emerged with the energetic Cousins in a slightly more advanced role to support the isolated Vetokele. 

Norwich continued in the ascendancy and began to attack down the flanks with even greater urgency. 

Hoolahan was once again the man pulling the strings, but England U21 winger Nathan Redmond began to enjoy more success down the right-hand side. 

With Jerome also using his physical presence to occupy defenders, the home fans sensed a goal was coming and roared their promotion chasers on. 

Jerome forced a save out of Henderson early in the half and it took a fine saving challenge from the composed Ben Haim to prevent his keeper being called into action again 58 minutes. 

Norwich’s expensively-assembled squad had Charlton on the rack and it was the most pressure the Londoners had been under all season to date. 

The Canaries had a penalty appeal waved away on the hour mark when Jackson’s clearance appeared to hit André Bikey-Amougou’s arm from close range. 

The chances kept coming and after a brief respite when Henderson claimed a cross authoritatively, before a staggering sequence which left everyone scratching their heads at how Norwich had failed to open their account. 

Redmond was played in down Charlton’s right and forced a good stop from Henderson, before Hoolahan’s rebound deflected off Bikey before being cleared off the line by Rhoys Wiggins. 

Gomez, who had picked up a knock earlier in the half, eventually succumbed to his fate and was replaced by Franck Moussa, with Wilson dropping to right-back. 

It was nerve-rackingly breathless stuff for those of a Charlton persuasion and with every passing minute there seemed a moment to cause further distress. 

Bikey made a superb block to deny the lively Grabban, before the same forward cut in and curled agonisingly wide with five minutes to play. 

It would likely have proved a fatal blow, but Norwich were then made to pay for the miss. 

Jackson’s shot deflected past Ruddy and from then on Charlton never looked like surrendering the points. 

There was still time for another academy player to make their professional debut when Karlan Ahearne-Grant replaced Frederic Bulot in the final moments. 

What a game to make your senior bow in. In fact, what a game full stop. 

It’s 10 games unbeaten. Onwards to Birmingham City at home on Saturday. 

Charlton: Henderson; Gomez (Moussa 71), Wiggins, Ben Haim, Bikey-Amougou; Wilson, Buyens, Jackson, Cousins, Bulot (Ahearne-Grant 89); Vetokele (Fox 90+5). 

Subs (not used): Pope, Morrison, Harriott, Munns. 

Goal: Jackson 86. 

Booked: Wiggins 77 (foul on Johnson), Ben Haim 79 (foul on Jerome), Vetokele 88 (foul on Martin). 

Norwich City: Ruddy; Whittaker, Olsson, Martin, Turner; Redmond, Tettey (Howson 83), Johnson, Hoolahan (Murphy 84); Jerome, Grabban  (Loza 84). 

Subs (not used): Rudd, Hooiveld, Garrido, Murphy, O’Neil. 

Referee: Mr M Russell. 

Att: 25,983.

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