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Match Report

 

Posted Fri 20 Jun 14 at 12:25 PM

Olly Groome reports from Molineux Stadium

A vastly improved performance saw Charlton share a point with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday as the Guy Luzon era got under way in positive fashion. 

After four straight defeats, the Addicks stopped the rot, responding well to the previous mauling at the hands of Watford by putting in an impressive shift against Kenny Jackett’s men in a closely-fought contest.

Luzon made three changes to the starting line-up to that which suffered the heavy defeat at Watford seven days earlier. 

There were full debuts for Serbian duo Marko Dmitrović and loanee Milos Veljkovic, while Morgan Fox also returned to the side.

Neil Etheriddge, Rhoys Wiggins and Lawrie Wilson were the trio to make way and all three took their place on the bench.

The first chance of the afternoon came the way of the hosts with just two minutes on the clock when Rajiv van La Parra gained a yard on the right wing to send a dangerous ball towards the far post with James Henry lurking. 

The former Reading youngster did make a connection with his head, but could only send the ball into the side netting to prevent a disappointing start. 

The two sides then embarked on a midfield tussle for possession with neither really able to effectively penetrate in the final third.

Wolves saw a van Parra effort well blocked by Tal Ben Haim immediately before Dave Edwards fired wildly over the crossbar, while Henry turned a shot wide but both goalkeepers were enjoying a charmed life in the early exchanges with neither keeper called into action during a slow-paced 35-minute period. 

On 38 minutes the Addicks very nearly made a breakthrough when Chris Solly exchanged well with Johann Berg Gudmundsson on the right before the latter curled in a tricky cross. 

The low ball in evaded every gold shirt as it bounced into the six-yard box and had the rooted stopper Carl Ikeme beaten as it trickled narrowly past the left-hand upright, much to the relief of the Wolverhampton faithful. 

Although they were yet to register a shot on target, the first half had shown signs that Charlton were more than capable of making their mark, and certainly no sign of a repeat of the misery at Vicarage Road last time out.

Into the second half, and Wolves got out of the traps quickly with the visitors relying on André Bikey-Amougou to divert a header which looked to be goalbound out for a corner.

The Addicks, however, responded immediately, coming close at the other end through Harriott who steamed towards goal before unleashing a stinging drive from 25 yards sending Ikeme sprawling, while Fox sent in a dangerous cross moments later which forced the Wolves defence to scramble away with Vetokele lurking with intent. 

With Luzon’s men on top, Gudmundsson found Solly in space on the right and the full-back dipped a ball in towards the back post where Jordan Cousins was waiting, but the Academy product couldn’t get enough on his header, allowing Ikeme to collect with relative ease. 

After 65 minutes, debutant Dmitrović was called into action for the first time when van la Parra broke into the box and poked an shot towards the near post, but the Serbia U21 stopper made short work of the effort, gathering up the ball to send the Addicks back on their way. 

Indeed, it was the visitors who had shaded it in the second period and Luzon introduced Tony Watt in place of Harriott with 20 minutes left with the former Celtic youngster very nearly making an immediate impact. 

Picking up possession  20 yards from goal, the striker powered forwards, leaving the pursuing defenders for dust before finally getting his shot away from a tight angle.

Ikeme, however, got down well to make a good save to deny the Scot his first goal for the club. 

Eight minutes later, Luzon called on Simon Church, replacing Vetokele, as the Addicks embarked on some fine passing football, but were just missing that killer ball in the final third in order to create a golden opportunity. 

With five minutes left on the clock, the hosts created their best opening when Scott Golbourne found plenty of space to send a pinpoint left-wing cross into the box which was met by Afobe’s powerful header.

But Dmitrović got down well to make the save and keep the scores level to ensure Charlton would come away from the Black Country with a morale-boosting point with plenty of encouragement to take ahead of the visit of Rotherham United next weekend. 

Charlton: Dmitrović; Solly, Ben Haim, Bikey-Amougou, Fox; Gudmundsson, Buyens, Veljković (Gomez 83), Cousins; Harriott (Watt 70), Vetokele , (Church 78).

Subs (not used): Etheridge, Wiggins, Wilson, Ahearne-Grant.

Booked: Fox 87 (foul on van La Parra), Bikey 90+4 (aggresive behavior)

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ikeme, Iorfa (Doherty 75), Batth, Stearman, Hause (Golbourne 46), Price, McDonald, Henry (Dicko 46), Edwards, Van La Parra, Afobe.

Subs (not used): Kuszczak, Evans, Ebanks-Landell, Jacobs.

Booked: Stearman 41 (foul on Harriott), Dicko 90+4 (diving)

Referee: A D’Urso

Att: 23,487

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