Date:Tuesday February 27 2007
Alan Curbishley returned to The Valley and probably wished he hadn't. The Addicks totally outclassed the Hammers all game as West Ham failed to cope with the home side.
On this display you have to say we have a great chance of survival, so many key things have swung in favour of the men from The Valley the fans are starting to believe that Charlton can 'do a Portsmouth' and create their own great escape.
Alan Pardew made a couple of changes from the side that faced Man Utd last time out, Darren Bent was finally back after seven weeks out and Luke Young returned after missing the last nine weeks. El Karkouri returned and partnered Souleymane Diawara who kept his place after Hermann Hriedarsson was ruled out through injury.
With a raucous atmosphere built up by a tenor the teams took to the pitch, the fans probably expected a close encounter decided maybe by the odd goal what they got was a one sided show by the home side.
Charlton looked sharp in the opening exchanges and the two Bent's combined before Marcus fired wide with his shot from just inside the penalty area.
With 12 minutes gone Charlton almost broke the deadlock, Ambrose tricked his way past a couple of defender in the West Ham area and was unlucky to see his goalbound shot hit a covering defender with goalkeeper Robert Green beaten.
The Addicks finally got their reward for having most of the play when Ambrose fired home in the 24th minute. Marcus Bent beat the offside trap and with the West Ham defence in tatters Ambrose steered the ball expertly beyond Green who was wrong footed.
The lead was almost doubled six minutes later as Charlton bodies flooded into the West Ham penalty area after a quick break, Darren Bent though saw his cross flash across the box without getting the telling touch it was begging for.
The lead was increased after 34 minutes, Thomas picked the ball up in his own half and quickly without a West Ham tackle entered the Hammers penalty area. He steadied himself before putting the ball beyond Green and into the keepers bottom left hand corner.
Not content with a two goal lead the Addicks went searching for more and they got another goal just four minutes before the break. Jmmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, who came on for injured Marcus Bent, fed Darren Bent an inch perfect through ball. There was no mistake from the returning hitman who drove low into Green's right hand corner to put the Addicks in dreamland.
Charlton came out in the second half again with all guns blazing, not conent with the three goal advantage Hasselbaink alomost added a fourth with a low curling drive from outside the penalty area that hit the post in the 53rd minute.
With just ten minutes remaining the fourth was finally added and what a sweet goal it was, defending a corner Charlton broke courtesy of a quick Scott Carson throw out. Ambrose advanced down the flank before playing the ball into Thomas in the box, the winger didn't even take a touch as he steered the ball home.
Late substitute Zheng Zhi almost netted a fifth on his debut only to see his header come looping off the bar, that was to be the final action of the game as Rob Styles blew for full-time. While the Hammers now look doomed to relegation Charlton have at least given themselves a chance of getting out of this mess.
Charlton: Carson, Young, El Karkouri, Diawara, Thatcher, Ambrose, Holland, Song Billong (Faye 85), Thomas, Marcus Bent (Hasselbaink 35), Darren Bent (Zheng 82).
Subs Not Used: Randolph, Rommedahl.
Booked: El Karkouri, Song Billong, Diawara.
West Ham: Green, Dailly, Ferdinand, Davenport, Konchesky, Benayoun, Mullins (Newton 72), Quashie, Etherington (Harewood 46), Tevez, Cole (Blanco 59).
Subs Not Used: Walker, Pantsil.
Booked: Konchesky, Quashie.
Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).
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