Date:Monday April 2 2007
The game had been a dire encounter up until Darren Bent stepped up to seal victory from the spot in the 85th minute.
This match certainly won't live long in the memory but it was still a vital three points. The Addicks have closed the gap on those above them and are now unbelievably just one point from safety.
This match was very poor, neither team really got into second gear and when you look at the match stats it's a huge relief to have taken 3 points against a well organised Wigan team. There were just two shots on target all game, both from Charlton but the game had 0-0 written all over it.
The fans had enjoyed the pre-match entertainment from the opera singer and making noise with the cardboard clapers which have proved so popular around Europe. Alan Pardew had seen them in action while watching a game abroad and got the club to lay them on for the home fans.
It was the visitors who started the better, Lee McCulloch fired into the north stand and Caleb Folan clashed with Scott Carson leaving both needing treatment following the bone crunching challenge.
Charlton's first effort came just after 20 minutes when Talal El Karkouri fired over the bar from a free-kick.
With 38 minutes gone Charlton finally managed a shot on target. Matt Holland found the ball at his feet following a Dennis Rommedahl corner but he could only weakly stab his effort straight at the keeper.
On the hour mark Charlton had their biggest scare of the afternoon. Folan managed to get a cross into the box and McCulloch got in at the far post ahead of Luke Young to poke a scuffed effort onto the post.
With 13 minutes remaining Folan was gifted a free shot on goal by the Charlton defence as they parted to allow him in. Luckily for Pardew's boys the big striker blazed well over the bar.
With a little over ten minutes remaining the big screen flashed up the latest premiership scores and it showed Sheffield Utd was losing at Bolton. The crowd roared the boys on hoping we could snatch a vital win.
The turning point then came five minutes from time, Referee Peter Walton pointed to the spot for what could have been one of two questionable challenges.
Fitz Hall had dragged Hermann Hreidarsson to the ground and he had also lunged at Marcus Bent. Maybe the penalty was lucky but we'll take anything to give us a win at the moment and I`m sure any other team would do the same.
The crowd waited in near silence, praying that Bent would score from the 12 yards. He hit the ball with power into the left side of the goal, just beating the keeper`s outstretched arm.
The Valley erupted and Bent wheeled away in celebration.
The Addicks held on through the injury time and when the final whistle blew the celebrations really started.
We have given ourselves a chance now and the way things are going the impossible might just happen.
Charlton: Carson, Young, El Karkouri, Diawara, Hreidarsson, Rommedahl (Marcus Bent 46), Holland (Ambrose 71), Song, Thomas, Zheng, Darren Bent, Ambrose (Faye 87).
Subs Not Used: Randolph, Bougherra.
Booked: El Karkouri.
Wigan: Filan, Hall, De Zeeuw, Jackson, Baines, Taylor (Valencia 72), Landzaat, Skoko (Scharner 76), McCulloch, Folan, Heskey.
Subs Not Used: Nash, Kilbane, Unsworth.
Booked: Taylor, Hall, Heskey.
Ref: P Walton (Northamptonshire).
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|15. Leeds Utd||46||15||11||20||-11||56|
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