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Match Report


Posted Sat 13 Dec 14 at 18:51 PM

Charlton 2 Blackpool 2

Olly Groome reports from The Valley

A late Blackpool equaliser heaped more frustration on Charlton, as the Addicks were forced to share the spoils for a 12th time this season. 

Having gone behind to Chris Eagles’ first-half strike, the hosts got back to 1-1 through Yoni Buyens’ penalty before taking the lead courtesy of Jordan Cousins’ strike after the break. 

But just as it looked as if the Addicks would claim all three points, Steve Davies’ header two minutes from the end condemned Bob Peeters’ men to yet another draw – a fact made worse by André Bikey-Amougou’s miss in stoppage time with the goal at his mercy as the Valley faithful left SE7 with a huge sense of disappointment.  

There were two changes to the side which earned a draw at Nottingham Forest seven days earlier, with Buyens making a timely return to the starting XI following Johnnie Jackson’s injury, while Chris Solly made a move into midfield in place of Francis Coquelin who was recalled from his loan by Arsenal on Friday. 

That allowed Joe Gomez to slot into right-back while Solly took up a position on the right of a midfield diamond with Buyens at the base, Gudmundsson at the tip and Jordan Cousins on the left, while Igor Vetokele was joined in attack by Callum Harriott – one of eight players involved in the Addicks’ squad against the Seasiders. 

With the action under way, it was Blackpool who enjoyed the first shot at goal courtesy of Jacob Murphy’s free-kick with three minutes gone. 

Eagles had bought the foul having theatrically fallen to the floor 25 yards from goal, allowing on-loan Norwich City youngster Murphy to eye up his effort which was well hit and looking like heading inside the left-hand upright before Nick Pope got across brilliantly to claw it away. 

That brought about a good spell of pressure for the visitors who saw the better of the early exchanges before the hosts began to get the ball on the floor and play. 

Peeters’ men showed great patience in possession as they stroked the ball around the park, waiting for the killer moment to penetrate their opponents. 

And their first sight of Blackpool’s goal came after 15 minutes when Harriott looked to catch Joe Lewis out with a quick, curling shot from the edge of the box. But the stopper was equal to it as the Addicks looked to patiently build again. 

However, despite Charlton enjoying all of the possession, they were not creating much in the final third, and they fell behind against the run of play in the 25th minute. 

When a corner was swung in, Pope made a late decision to come and claim, ultimately missing out as the ball eventually fell to Nyrone Nosworthy. 

The defender’s header was on its way in before Chris Eagles looked to have got a touch to help it over the line and put the Championship’s bottom side in front. 

It was shaping up to be a frustrating afternoon for the Addicks who, despite playing all the football, simply could not make an impact in front of goal, and when Gudmundsson sent his free-kick high and wide from just outside the box following a foul on Cousins, it summed up much about the opening half hour at The Valley. 

Charlton’s fortunes would, however, finally change after 37 minutes when the referee awarded a penalty to present the hosts with a way back into the game. 

A low ball in from the left was attacked by Vetokele 12 yards from goal, but the Angolan had his heels clipped just as he was set to pull the trigger leaving Mr Davies no choice but to point to the spot. 

Buyens has earned a reputation as a penalty marksmen having put away three already this term, and it was no surprise when the Belgian stepped up looking to make it a fourth.

Indeed, he made no mistake, stroking his spot-kick to the left of Lewis in identical fashion to his previous three and restored parity at 1-1. 

The goal was timely, and gave Charlton a much-needed boost ahead of the second half as the Addicks went in search of all three points. 

And just nine minutes after the break, they gave themselves a great chance of doing just that when Cousins sumptuously placed a shot into the bottom right corner from 20 yards to put the home side into the lead. 

The academy graduate had picked up possession before driving towards goal, and with the Blackpool defence backing off, thanks largely to a gut-busting, overlapping run from Morgan Fox down the outside, he picked his spot before placing it past Lewis to turn the Addicks’ game around. 

Peeters’ side were now looking hugely threatening going forward, and an exciting run from Vetokele resulted in the Angola international ride a couple of challenges before bending a good-looking shot just wide of the post. 

Harriott, meanwhile, tried his luck from a similar distance after skipping past Nosworthy, but could only drill his effort past the right-hand upright. 

At the other end, Pope was enjoying a quiet half up until the 75th minute when Davies thundered a long-range effort towards the young keeper, who had his palms stung, but collected the ball expertly to ensure Charlton’s lead would remain intact. 

Then, with nine minutes remaining the Seasiders very nearly found an equaliser by way of some penalty box pinball after Kevin Foley looked to drill in a rebound following a half-cleared free-kick. 

But his effort took a deflection before bouncing off his own teammate in Davies and disappearing behind to the safety of a goal-kick. 

The relief, however, would not last long, because with a minute remaining, Lee Clark’s side found their equaliser. 

It came from a controversially-awarded free-kick after a foul was awarded against Tal Ben Haim, who looked to have won the ball with a good sliding tackle on Ishmael Miller.

But with the set-piece whipped in dangerously by Tony McMahon, Pope was left in no man’s land as he tried to punch away, and Davies headed home into the unguarded net to heap more late heartbreak on the Addicks. 

The hosts threw everything forward in time added on, desperate to reclaim their lead.

And it should have come at the death when Bikey, stood unmarked 10 yards from goal, received sub George Tucudean’s pull back. But the big defender fluffed his lines, firing agonisingly over the bar when it seemed for all the world that it would be easier to bulge the net. 

And so, Charlton would have to settle for yet another Championship draw while being left to rue the missed chances which should have claimed them victory. 

Charlton: Pope; Gomez, Fox, Bikey-Amougou, Ben Haim; Solly, Buyens, Cousins, Gudmundsson; Harriott  (Tucudean 72), Vetokele. 

Subs (not used): Etheridge, Wilson, Onyewu, Bulot, Pigott, Ahearne-Grant. 

Booked: Ben Haim 88 (foul on Miller)

Goals: Buyens 38 (pen), Cousins 55

Blackpool: Lewis; Foley, Clarke, Nosworthy, Kennedy, McMahon, Perkins, O'Hara, Eagles (Delfouneso 54), Murphy (Miller 49), Davies.

Subs (not used): Parish, O'Dea, O'Keefe, Waddington, Orlandi.

Booked: O’Hara 30 (foul on Cousins)

Goals: Eagles 25, Davies 89

Referee: A Davies

Att: 15,411 (501 from Blackpool)

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