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Match Report


Posted Tue 15 Dec 15 at 22:41 PM

Charlton 2 Bolton 2

George Jones reports from The Valley

Ademola Lookman netted a first-half Valley double as Charlton drew 2-2 with Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night.

The academy graduate opened the scoring after just 26 seconds, and added to his tally midway through the opening period to put Charlton in control.

But that two-goal lead was surrendered before half-time, with Emile Heskey and Josh Vela finding the net to restore parity for the Championship strugglers.

The Addicks probed to find a winner after the break and Harry Lennon came closest when he rattled the underside of the crossbar with a header from a corner.

Interim Head Coach Karel Fraeye named an unchanged XI to the one that started in the goalless draw with Leeds United on Saturday.

Stephen Henderson was in goal; Tareiq Holmes-Dennis and Chris Solly began in the full-back positions, with Alou Diarra and Harry Lennon at the heart of defence.

Skipper Johnnie Jackson and Jordan Cousins provided cover for attacking midfield trio Lookman, Reza Ghoochannejhad and Johann Berg Gudmundsson, while former Trotter Ricardo Vaz Te led the line.

Charlton began proceedings with their feet firmly on the gas on and they went in front after just 26 seconds. Some superb, dogged harrying from Ghoochannejhad won possession in the Bolton half. He picked out Vaz Te, who, in turn, threaded Lookman in and, from an ever-narrowing angle, he slotted beyond Ben Amos and into the net.

An important interception from Dean Moxey then prevented Gudmundsson from racing clear less than a minute later, while at the other end Liam Feeney dragged harmlessly wide from range.

Soon afterwards, the Addicks’ Icelandic winger flicked the ball out to an guarded Solly, who whipped in a dangerous centre that Amos was just about able to smother ahead of the incoming Vaz Te.

Holmes-Dennis blocked a Feeney effort at goal on the 15-minute mark. From the resulting corner, Henderson got across his goal to push Prince Gouano’s header behind for another flag-kick.

The visitors were beginning to get a foothold in the game and enjoyed some possession in the Charlton half, but it was the hosts who carved out the next sight of goal. Vaz Te laid the ball back to Gudmundsson and his first-time strike whizzed over the bar from 30 yards.

The Addicks were then almost in again when Gudmundsson forced Gouano to stretch to intercept his Lookman-bound through ball.

Charlton’s academy starlet did not have to wait long for his next opening, though. He did not waste it.

Ghoochaennjhad was again the initiator. He back-heeled Vaz Te through on the right-hand side of the penalty area. The forward fizzed a low ball across the box where it found Lookman and he turned home at the back post.

That two-goal advantage was wiped out almost immediately, however, when Heskey volleyed home Feeney’s cross.

And the reduced lead was almost canceled out entirely when Wanderers won possession straight from kick-off. The ball eventually dropped to Zach Clough and he made Henderson produce an important, low stop.

Having escaped, the home side were intent on restoring their buffer and a cleverly-worked corner almost saw that come to fruition on 36 minutes.

Ghoochannejhad ran over Gudmundsson’s delivery, allowing it to run through to Vaz Te, who was denied his first Addicks goal by a brave block from the Bolton defence.

But the visitors pulled themselves level three minutes before the break. Clough’s cross into the box was half cleared by the Charlton defence and the ball dropped for Vela to send a daisycutter into the bottom corner of Henderson’s net.

To the huge disappointment of everyone inside The Valley, the two teams headed in at two apiece at the interval. Gudmundsson sliced a strike well off target in what was the opening effort of the second period.

A prolonged period of possession ended with Jackson’s deflected effort landing in the arms of Amos in the 53rd minute and the Wanderers stopper was then well positioned to claim Lookman’s cross-cum-shot.

Charlton were dealt a blow when their influential teenager had to be withdrawn with a hamstring complaint and Gudmundsson would soon suffer the same fate, with an ankle problem.

Prior to his departure though Gudmundsson came close from a set-piece. After Ghoochannejhad had won his side a free-kick 30 yards from goal, the Icelandic stepped up to see his initial strike blocked by the wall, before he dragged his follow-up wide of the target.

Substitute El-Hadji Ba won a corner moments after coming on and Charlton came within inches of regaining their lead from the resulting set-piece when Lennon met it with a downwards header that bounced down onto the turf and then up onto the underside of the crossbar.

Amos got down to his left to save Ghoochannejhad 82nd-minute drive and Wheater then inadvertently blocked Vaz Te’s off-target scissor kick to concede a corner, though Wanderers were able to clear.

At the other end, Clough dragged a couple of feet wide, having been freed by Feeney and, despite six minutes of stoppage time being added, neither team were able to force a meaningful strike at goal and the contest ended level.

Charlton: Henderson, Solly, Bauer, Lennon, Holmes-Dennis, Cousins, Jackson (Ahearne-Grant 80), Gudmundsson (Ba 70), Ghoochannejhad, Lookman (Makienok 60), Vaz Te.

Subs (not used): Pope, Sarr, Bergdich, Fox.

Goals: Lookman 1, 26

Booked: Lennon 36 (foul on Heskey), Ghoochannejhad 45 (foul on Moxey), Ba 90+6 (foul on Moxey)

Bolton: Amos, Holding, Gouano, Wheater, Moxey, Feeney, Spearing, Vela (Danns 76), Davies, Heskey (Madine 66), Clough (Dobbie 90+4).

Subs (not used): Rachubka, Casado, Twardzik, Walker.

Goals: Heskey 32, Vela 42

Booked: Spearing 70 (foul on Cousins)

Attendance: 12,294 (415 Bolton fans)

G Horwood

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