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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 05 Apr 16 at 21:48 PM

Ipswich Town 0 Charlton 0

Olly Groome reports from Portman Road

An impressive away performance was not enough to yield all three points as Charlton were forced to settle for a point after a goalless stalemate with Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Tuesday evening. 

The Addicks put in a showing full of effort, commitment and ability in Suffolk and looked the far more likely side throughout, but just could not find the killer touch in the final third to bring victory back to SE7. 

Pre-match

Jose Riga opted to make three changes to the side which won at The Valley against Birmingham City at the weekend, with Chris Solly making his first start since picking up an ankle injury at Preston North End in February, while Yaya Sanogo returned having completed his three-game suspension. 

Elsewhere, Ademola Lookman was drafted back into the starting XI on the left of midfield, while Yun Suk-Young, Igor Vetokele and Marco Motta dropped to the bench. 

First half

Charlton registered the first shot of the evening with just four minutes on the clock. 

With Lookman picking up possession, he sprayed a ball out to the right-hand side which Johann Berg Gudmundsson duly collected before cutting inside and trying his luck from 20 yards. Tractor Boys stopper Bartosz Bialkowski, however, was equal to it. 

Moments later, the home side came inches away from taking the lead themselves when Freddie Sears fizzed a ball towards goal from a tight angle inside the box, only for it to skid just wide of the left-hand upright. 

On 12 minutes, the Addicks very nearly profited from Bialkowski’s bizarre decision to come and clear a long pass forward at the edge of his box, only to completely miss the ball and let in Sanogo.

But the goalkeeper’s blushes were spared thanks to Christophe Berra, who was on hand to clear up the mess left by the Polish stopper. 

The visitors were dealt a huge blow before the 20-minute mark when Gudmundsson suffered a nasty clash of heads with Jonas Knudsen. And that would signal an early end to the Iceland international’s evening as Motta entered the field as his replacement on the right.

Undeterred, the Londoners went straight on the attack, coming close via Callum Harriott’s well struck angled drive which the keeper, just about, held on to, and although Ipswich struggled to clear their lines, they recovered in time to prevent Sanogo gobbling up the rebound as his effort was blocked. 
 
Both sides were enjoying openings and, at the halfway point of the first period, boyhood Ipswich fan Nick Pope pulled off a stunning save to tip Ben Pringle’s good looking effort away from the top left-hand corner when it looked certain to ripple the net. 

Despite that chance, it was the Addicks who were looking the more likely, playing some good passing football as they waited patiently for an opening. 

With 10 minutes of the half remaining, Lookman collected a loose ball and found space to come inside and unleash a low shot which had Bialkowski scrambling, but flew just the wrong side of the post. 

And on the stroke of half-time, Charlton came closer still when Jorge Teixeira glanced Lookman’s corner towards goal, only for the Tractor Boys custodian to pull off a fine save at his near post to deny the Portuguese as the two sides headed in for the break on level terms. 

Second half

Ipswich missed a glorious chance to take the lead early in the second half when Cole Skuse’s right-wing cross was floated into the box where the unmarked Jonathan Douglas was waiting. 

But the midfielder could only send his header well over the bar from eight yards, allowing the Addicks to breathe a sigh of relief. 

The Irishman, once again, garnered groans from the home support moments later when he sent a side-footed shot over from the edge of the box as the hosts began to enjoy the better openings, while Pope was called into action to make a comfortable save from Pitman’s low drive. 

Meanwhile at the other end, Charlton remained dangerous on the break. 

Sanogo stooped to send a header narrowly wide from a corner, before Harriott did well to break clear in the box, only to blaze his shot high and wide from a promising position. 

With 69 minutes gone, Jordan Cousins stung the palms of Bialkowski with a well-hit, powerful 20-yarder, while Harriott’s quickfire shot struck the side-netting as the Addicks continued to probe. 

On 80 minutes, Lookman remained patient before unleashing a low, angled shot which was well parried by the Ipswich keeper, who recovered to complete a fine double save, keeping out Sanogo’s rebound. 

If any team were deserving of all three points, it was the visitors, and with three minutes remaining they came within a whisker away from doing just that. 

Lookman’s corner caused havoc in the box and with the ball bouncing back off the shin of an Ipswich defender, Bialkowski was completely helpless as the ball rolled agonisingly wide of the left post and the Addicks, somewhat harshly, were forced to settle for a solitary point. 

Results elsewhere meant that, despite the effort on display at Portman Road, Charlton’s gap to safety was increased by a point to seven, with six games left to play. 

Riga’s men now make the short journey to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday knowing that a win is vital, with time rapidly running out. 


Charlton: Pope, Solly, Fanni, Teixeira, Fox, Diarra, Cousins, Gudmundsson (Motta 19 (Makienok 86)), Lookman, Harriott (Vetokele 74), Sanogo.

Subs (not used): Henderson, Suk-Young, Lennon, Jackson.

Booked: Teixeira 46 (foul on Sears), Cousins 85 (kicking the ball away)

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Skuse, Pitman (Bishop 82), Feeney (McGoldrick 64), Pringle (Varney 46), Sears, Douglas. 

Subs (not used): Gerken, Bru, Hyam, Foley.

Booked: Knudsen 16 (foul on Gudmundsson)

Referee: O Langford

Att: 17,787 (552 from Charlton)

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