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Match Report


Posted Sat 24 Sep 16 at 17:05 PM

Oxford United 1 Charlton 1

Olly Groome reports from the Kassam Stadium

Charlton shared a 1-1 draw with Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday to earn a second point on the road in four days.

After taking a second-half lead via Johnnie Jackson’s penalty, the Addicks were pegged back by Chris Maguire’s equaliser in a fairly evenly-contested clash in Oxfordshire.

And although Harry Lennon was given his marching orders for a second-bookable offence deep into injury time, it did nothing to affect the result as Russell Slade’s men head back to London with another point in tow.

There was one change to the side which earned a draw at league-leaders Scunthorpe United in midweek, with Lennon coming in to make his first start of the season in place of Jason Pearce, who missed out with concussion.

Meanwhile, there was a return to the bench for Ricky Holmes and Lee Novak after recovering from a back injury and illness respectively.

Charlton got on the front foot early on with a couple of corners causing havoc for the hosts’ defence in the opening two minutes, but it was an Oxford corner on five minutes which very nearly resulted in the opening goal of the game.

A cross from the right was met by the head of Chey Dunkley inside the six-yard box, drawing a superb, point-blank save from Declan Rudd.

With 13 minutes on the clock, the Addicks put together a fine passing move, culminating in Fredrik Ulvestad being played into the box on the right-hand side. The Norwegian sent a low ball into the six-yard box for the advancing Josh Magennis, but the striker’s stretch was not enough to get the killer touch which would surely have resulted in the net bulging.

Seven minutes later, Marvin Johnson came close to sending a sell-placed, angled shot beyond Rudd at the other end, but his effort from Ryan Taylor’s knockdown thankfully bounced narrowly past the right-hand upright.

The pendulum continued to swing one way, then the other throughout the first half and Ademola Lookman forced Simon Eastwood into a low save with powerful rive, while Liam Sercombe tested Rudd with a similar effort for the U’s.

Four minutes before half-time, Lennon’s fantastic sliding tackle broke up an Oxford attack and sent away Lookman into the box.

With just Eastwood to beat, the stopper made himself big and smothered the youngster’s effort as he tried to poke the ball beyond the goalkeeper, keeping things scoreless going into the break.

Into the second half, an early Oxford free-kick was looped over the bar via the head of Charlie Raglan, but moments later the Addicks went straight down the other end to claim a golden opportunity to go in front.

After the visitors won a free-kick of their own, Lookman swung the ball in from the right and a home defender’s arm was raised to make contact in the box, leaving Keith Stroud no choice but to point to the spot.

Jackson was the man to take the responsibility and the skipper made no mistake, rolling his spot-kick past Eastwood before heading over to celebrate with the 1,476 travelling Addicks.

Indeed, those supporters may well have forgotten what a penalty even looked like after being made to wait 524 days since the last one was awarded to Charlton.

The U’s looked to respond and sub Kane Hemmings sent a rasping drive from a tight angle, forcing Rudd into a good save at his near post.

And 13 minutes after taking the lead, the Addicks lost it when a defence-splitting pass sent Chris Maguire into the box, and the forward kept his cool to slot into the bottom left-hand corner to make it all square.

With 70 minutes on the clock, Ricky Holmes, who had earlier replaced Lookman, supplied a pinpoint cross for Magennis, who met it well, only to see Eastwood make a fantastic save to tip it onto the crossbar and deny the Northern Ireland international.

Charlton continued to push forward in an effort to regain their lead and saw the lion’s share of possession for the remainder of the match. Holmes tried his luck with a 20-yarder which beat the dive of Eastwood, but not the post, and Botaka saw his shot well blocked in the penalty area deep into injury-time.

Shortly after, Lennon’s late challenge was penalised with a yellow card, adding to the booking he had received earlier in the half, and the defender was sent down the tunnel prematurely, albeit beating the final whistle by only a few seconds.

In truth, the draw was a fair result, but with the Addicks having now gone five League games without tasting victory, they will certainly be targeting maximum points from back-to-back home games next week in their bid to start climbing back up the League One table.

Charlton: Rudd, Solly, Bauer, Lennon, Fox, Crofts, Foley (Novak 71), Ulvestad, Jackson (Botaka 81), Lookman (Holmes 63), Magennis.

Subs (not used): Phillips, Konsa, Chicksen, Ajose.

Sent off: Lennon 90+4 (second bookable offence)

Goal: Jackson 54 (pen)

Oxford United: Eastwood, Skarz (Ruffels 90+1), Lundstrom, Sercombe, Maguire, Edwards, Rothwell (Macdonald 77), Taylor (Hemmings 60), Raglan, Johnson, Dunkley.

Subs (not used): Buchel, Long, Roberts, Ledson.

Booked: Edwards 53 (deliberate handball), Hemmings 90+5 (dissent)

Goal: Maguire

Referee: K Stroud

Att: 8,847 (1,476 from Charlton)

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