Date:Wednesday August 29 2007
Charlton went into the third round of the Carling Cup with a thrilling 4-3 win over League One side Stockport.
The first half was all Charlton and Pardew used a mix of fringe players and first team players to see off County.
With half the ground closed due to the low attendance the atmosphere was not as we usually expect at The Valley. Just over 8000 people watched the match and the fans saw both sides to Pardew's team.
The Addicks raced into a 2-0 lead with Svetoslav Todorov's stunning strike from way outside the box. The former Portsmouth forward needed a goal and boy did he grab one.
Charlton then doubled their lead thanks to some good work from McLeod. The speedy forward ran at the defender and once he beat him he was fouled and sent over. The referee gave the penalty and McLeod dusted himself off to take it. The keeper pulled off a fine save and managed to clear the ball away. Luckily for the Addicks the referee asked for it to be retaken due to County players entering the penalty area.
McLeod handed the ball to Chinese captain Zheng Zhi who made sure and drilled the ball home in the opposite corner.
The Addicks were in full control and was 2-0 to the good at half time.
Charlton looked comfortable and surely we would just walk the second half. Perhaps not this is Charlton after all, and amazingly the reds fell 3-2 behind.
County hit back to level when Adam Proudlock swept the ball home and Anthony Elding scored from close range.
The defence was yet again a joke and Paddy McCarthy looked well out of his depth and showed very little quality as a defender.
Dominic Blizzard's stunning strike made it 3-2 to the visitors. A lack of cover from the midfield left the backline stretched and the ball was sent whizzing past Randolph in goal.
Some how we had led 2-0 and were now 3-2 down. Another surprise exit was on the cards until Charlton went for broke.
Young winger Lloyd Sam pulled the Addicks level with a superb free kick in the 74th minute.
Charlton were great when they were attacking but at the back we just look way too exposed and unorganized.
Then the crowd was made to eat their own hats as villain McCarthy rose with a header to send County out.
Sam crossed in a corner and the former Leicester man rose highest and headed the ball past Logan.
Final score 4-3 to The Addicks and boy was that some game.
Yet again the boys couldn't defend and Pardew admitted afterwards he needs to bring in some defenders with experience before the deadline.
'The back four have to accept a lot of responsibility for what happened in the second half. We were comfortably controlling them in the first half so we do have that ability, but we just lost focus in the second half.
'Paddy showed the determination that he has in him to score winning goal, but we want that at the other end as well.
'We were fine up to half-time then some sloppiness came into it. We need to batten down the hatches a bit and be a bit more solid."
Pardew added: 'We will tighten up at the back and I will bring in a defender, maybe two, if I think we need to.
'I'm not going to say any names, but we are close on one player - and there could be movement on two or three before the window shuts."
One pleasing display came from Addick`s debutant Therry Racon. The French youngster looked the business and the box to box midfielder looks like another gem that Pardew has unearthed. I`m looking forward to seeing much more of him.
Charlton: Randolph, Faye, McCarthy, Fortune, Powell, Sam, Racon (Ambrose 81), Zheng, Semedo, Todorov, McLeod (Iwelumo 71).Subs Not Used: Weaver, Sinclair, Aswad Thomas.
Goals: Todorov 35, Zheng 42 pen, Sam 74, McCarthy 90.
Stockport: Logan, Bowler (Griffin 46), Owen, Williams, Tierney, Proudlock, Taylor, Dicker, Blizzard, Elding, McNeil (Pilkington 46).
Subs Not Used: Adamson, Raynes, Tansey.
Booked: Bowler, Griffin.
Goals: Proudlock 54, Elding 62, Blizzard 69.
Ref: Andy Hall (W Midlands).
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