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Match Report


Posted Fri 20 Jun 14 at 12:21 PM

Nottingham Forest 1 Charlton 1

Olly Groome reports from the City Ground

It was a tale of two halves at the City Ground with Charlton failing to capitalise on their first-half dominance as they shared a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest. 

An impressive first 45 saw the Addicks dictate play, taking a deserved early lead through Callum Harriott and looking a good bet for the three points by the river Trent. 

But with a resurgent Forest emerging from the break in determined fashion, Robert Tesche struck an unstoppable effort past Nick Pope as Charlton, who could not replicate their first-half showing, headed for an 11th draw of the season.  

Bob Peeters stuck with the same starting XI which performed so well against Ipswich Town last time out, despite the late defeat, with Harriott continuing up top in support of Igor Vetokele. 

Elsewhere, Nick Pope continued between the sticks while Stephen Henderson nurses a shoulder injury and Joe Pigott made a return to the bench for the first time since his loan stint at Newport County, alongside Yoni Buyens, who was not quite 100 per cent following his recent hamstring problems. 

A good passing move resulted in the first half-chance of the game coming Charlton’s way. 

With Vetokele being fed wide left, he cut in before delivering a dangerous cross which looped over Forest stopper Karl Darlow, forcing a red shirt to turn the ball behind for a corner from which André Bikey-Amougou headed wide. 

It signalled a good start to proceedings for the visitors who were enjoying a good start in the early exchanges. 

And that good start was emphasised when they took a deserved lead after just nine  minutes. 

A superb, raking Johann Berg Gudmundsson pass from right to left found Jordan Cousins in plenty of space before the midfielder looked up and found his fellow academy graduate Harriott to his right. 

The tricky forward shaped up before drilling in a half volley, which took a nick off a defender, before nestling in the bottom right-hand corner to send the travelling Addicks into raptures. 

It was a first goal for the season for Harriott and was, in truth, just reward for some fine displays in the final third of late. 

The hosts looked for an immediate response through Michail Antonio who fired wildly over the bar from 12 yards out, but it was Charlton who were in control and looking by far the more comfortable in the early exchanges as the Forest support showed signs of discontent. 

They did, however, suffer a blow with 20 minutes gone when Johnnie Jackson was forced off with an injury which saw Lawrie Wilson replace the skipper, taking up a position on the left-wing with Cousins switching to the middle. 

It was not until the 35th minute that the next chance fell. And it was another which came the way of the Addicks who probably should have extended their lead. 

Some more good passing in the middle saw Harriott turn well and advance forward before laying off to Francis Coquelin.

The Arsenal loanee, who was extremely impressive yet again, put in the cross for Vetokele, who nodded a header goalbound, forcing a good save from Darlow. 

But with the ball falling to Wilson, he hesitated before getting his shot away on his weaker right foot, allowing Antonio time to clear up and out of the Forest penalty area to safety. 

Forest enjoyed a better spell in the latter stages of the first period, and Henri Lansbury stung the palms of Pope with a shot from just outside the box, but it was, in truth, all the Addicks really had to be concerned about in a hugely positive first 45 for Peeters’ men. 

As the second-half got under way, Antonio threatened down the left early on with two, almost identical, crosses which flashed across the six-yard box, narrowly evading the attacking red shirts of Jamie Paterson and Tom Ince. 

And moments later, Forest opened up their best chance of the game to that point, with Ince turning Morgan Fox inside out before pulling back to Antonio who poked just wide. 

It was a more encouraging start as far as the home fans were concerned, and a storm which Charlton had to ride. 

With 55 minutes on the clock, Ince missed a glorious chance after Fox failed to clear a left-wing cross, slicing his shot wide with just Pope to beat as the hosts piled on the pressure. 

Two minutes on, and Forest had a huge shout for a penalty waved away when Paterson tumbled in the box under pressure, but it made little difference as seconds later, they were level. 

An initial ball in was cleared out as far as substitute Tesche, who leathered a shot from 25 yards straight past Pope, nearly breaking the net on its way through. 

Regrettably, it had just been far too much pressure for Charlton to withstand, with the hosts looking a vastly different prospect than that of the first period. 

There was, though, an opportunity to get back in front soon after when Vetokele played in Harriott between two defenders. 

With just the keeper to beat, however, he tamely sent a right-footed shot towards goal which was easily kept out by the foot of Darlow. 

Despite that chance, it was Stuart Pearce’s men who continued to look the more threatening since the break, and with 14 minutes remaining they had the Addicks worried again when Paterson’s angled shot dipped just over the bar, before Dexter Blackstock headed straight at Pope and Paterson sent a volley wide. 

The Addicks did manage to regain a foothold late on to dispel their hosts’ pressure, but they offered little in the way of an attacking threat as the clock ticked down to signal a draw. 

It could, however, be considered yet another good point on the road as Peeters’ side continue to prove that they are, indeed, a difficult side to beat. 

Charlton: Pope; Solly, Fox, Ben Haim, Bikey Amougou; Gudmundsson (Bulot 90+2), Coquelin, Jackson (Wilson 20), Cousins; Harriott, Vetokele. 

Subs (not used): Etheridge, Wilson, Gomez, Onyewu, Buyens, Pigott.

Booked: Coquelin 30 (foul on Antonio)

Goal: Harriott 10

Nottingham Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Fox, Mancienne, Lascelles; Paterson, Osborne, Lansbury (Tesche 46); Antonio, Ince (Blackstock 76), Fryatt. 

Subs (not used): De Vries, Wilson, Hunt, Vaughan, Burke.

Booked: Lansbury 8 (foul on Cousins), Tesche 73 (foul on Cousins)

Goal: Tesche 59

Referee: K Wright

Att: 22,297

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