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Match Report


Posted Sat 20 Dec 14 at 17:00 PM

Blackburn Rovers 2 Charlton 0

Olly Groome reports from Ewood Park

There was no Christmas cheer for Charlton as they fell to a disappointing defeat at the hands of Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Saturday. 

The Addicks never recovered from a poor start and were entirely the architects of their own downfall as Jordan Rhodes took advantage of two errors at the back to put the hosts 2-0 ahead within 20 minutes, and despite a much-improved second-half showing, Rovers never looked back as they sailed towards three points. 

Chris Solly once again skippered the side in the absence of the injured Johnnie Jackson, and the academy product led out the same 11 which drew 2-2 at home to fellow Lancastrians Blackpool last weekend.

Nick Pope kept goal in front of a back four of Morgan Fox, André Bikey-Amougou, Tal Ben Haim and Joe Gomez, with Solly starts again in midfield alongside Yoni Buyens, Jordan Cousins and Johann Berg Gudmundsson, while Callum Harriott partnered Igor Vetokele up front.

With the action under way, it was the hosts who made the first inroads towards goal, taking advantage of a sloppy Joe Gomez pass in his own half. 

The young defender gave the ball away to Ben Marshall who put a ball through to Jordan Rhodes, but the prolific striker could only draw a save from Pope. 

It was not much of a let-off, however, as another piece of sloppy play allowed Rovers, and Rhodes, another bite of the cherry moments later which they took with ease to take the lead with six minutes gone. 

With Pope playing the ball out to Cousins, the midfielder was caught napping to allow Marshall to take the ball and play in Rhodes once more. 

The Scotland international made no mistake second time around, placing firmly past Pope and into the bottom right-hand corner. 

It had, in truth, been an extremely poor start as far as Charlton were concerned and it very nearly got worse when Pope dropped what was a routine catch straight into the feet of Rudy Gestede. 

The forward tried to divert the ball towards the open goal, but a vital header from Morgan Fox got in the way to divert it away to safety to provide the Addicks with yet another let off as they continued to struggle to get out of their own half. 

It was shaping up to be a disastrous day for Bob Peeters’ men and it went from bad to worse after 19 minutes when Rhodes netted his second to put the hosts 2-0 in front. 

Regrettably, it came from another Charlton error.

When Tal Ben Haim failed to deal with a ball forward, he allowed the striker in to take the ball round the onrushing Pope and poke home easily to put clear daylight between the sides. 

Charlton needed a remedy and fast, and after 30 minutes Peeters made an attempt to patch things up by introducing Lawrie Wilson from the bench in place of Morgan Fox – a move which saw Solly make a switch to left-back, while Wilson took up his position on the right of midfield. 

Blackburn, however, very nearly scored an immediate third through Jason Lowe who forced Pope into an impressive save with his shot from long range. 

The midfielder thundered in an effort which looked like it would be heading straight for the top right corner, before the young custodian soared across to tip the ball over for a confidence-boosting save. 

At the other end, the Rovers defence had barely been made to sweat until Solly provided the Addicks’ first chance of the first half. 

The captain swung a good ball in from the left which was met by a glancing header from Vetokele, but the Angola international could only watch as it bounced agonisingly wide to deny his side a way back into the game. 

Then, deep into time added on, another Vetokele header was deflected just past the upright to give the visitors an ever so slight semblance of hope for the second period. 

The half-time break saw Peeters shake things up further by putting on Joe Pigott in place of Harriott as he attempted to  introduce some added fire power in the final third. 

Indeed, it was a far more promising start to the second 45 for the Londoners who looked to get the ball down and pass their way back into the game.

A nice passage of play saw Buyens cushion a pass to Vetokele who in turn laid it off for Gudmundsson to fire a first-time effort towards goal from the edge of the box, which Jason Steele did well to get behind at his near post. 

And with 65 minutes gone, the Addicks came closer still when Vetokele won yet another header from a corner which had Steele beaten, but bounced agonisingly wide as the home crowd grew increasingly anxious. 

There was another chance from a set-piece as André Bikey-Amougou headed into the ground and over the bar, but Peeters’ men were finding it difficult to hit the target and capitalise on what had been a far better second-half performance. 

Blackburn, meanwhile, provided a reminder of their threat in the final third with 12 minutes left when Ryan Tunnicliffe drew a good diving save from Pop from his powerful effort while substitute Josh King blazed over when through on goal.

There was a late chance for Pigott who struck a well-hit effort at goal on the half-volley, but there would be no celebrations for the 318 travelling Addicks as the clock ticked down to the final whistle, and the end of a disappointing afternoon in Lancashire.

Charlton: Pope; Gomez, Fox (Wilson 30), Ben Haim, Bikey-Amougou; Buyens, Solly, Cousins (Bulot 73), Gudmundsson; Harriott (Pigott 46), Vetokele.

Subs (not used): Etheridge, Onyewu, Tucudean, Ahearne-Grant.

Booked: Buyens 69 (foul on Duffy)

Blackburn: Steele; Baptiste, Hanley, Duffy, Olsson; Tunnicliffe, Lowe (Williamson 49), Evans, Marshall (Dunn 76); Gestede (King 76), Rhodes.

Subs (not used): Eastwood, Kilgallon, Varney, Conway.

Goals: Rhodes 6, 19

Referee: D Webb

Att: 13,231 (318 from Charlton)

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