Writer: Red God
Date:Wednesday March 23 2011
23 March 7.45pm
The 3000 plus Saints fans were naturally in good voice following their recent winning run. The Addicks faithful had more of a feeling of impending doom as they filed into The Valley.
News filtered through that former Manchester United starlet, Michael Stewart, had done sufficient in his trial period to earn a short term contract. Stewart is clearly being auditioned for next year.
Team wise, the carousel was still turning. Worner, Jenkinson and McCormack were omitted from the squad with Elliot returning in goal, Solly starting at right-back, Bessone at left-back, Racon restored to the left of midfield and Wagstaff switching to his natural right sided berth.
Francis' roller coaster ride continued as he was back on the bench which also included the welcome return of Joe Anyinsah.
The game was open and entertaining, with Charlton matching their more fancied visitors. Their failing was the usual one of recent times, not testing the keeper. Saints are a big, strong side and the Addicks had to effect a double clearance from the goal line from one foray.
The team went of to cheers rather than jeers at half-time. Would Southampton crank it up a notch after the break or would the Addicks continue to subdue them?
The Saints went ahead after 64 minutes in slighty controversial circumstances. Semedo thought the ball should be returned to the Addicks at a throw-in but Dan Harding disagreed. Harding's throw enabled the visitors to develop an attack down the left which resulted in a corner. This was cleared at the expense of another corner, this time on the right. Radhi Jaidi was left unmarked to crash a volley past Elliot.
Now the alarm bells were ringing, would the Addicks fragile confidence drain allowing their visitors to stroll to a comfortable victory? No was the answer and as the game wore on Charlton looked more of a threat. The introduction of Eccleston and Anyinsah were pivotal moments. Both created more danger than the players they replaced (Wagstaff and Nouble), and with Parrett pulling the midfield strings, supplemented by Racon on the left, the tide began to turn.
Just before Anyinsah's introduction, Llera thought he had equalised when his thumping header crashed down off the underside of the bar. The Spaniard was to protest long and hard, eventually picking up a booking for his trouble.
Just as it looked like being another of those nights, the Addicks got their just reward. A sublime flick from the influential Parrett found Wright-Phillips, who did what he does best to restored parity with three minutes remaining.
Charlton were nearly caught cold could shortly after when Dany N'Guessan's effort was ruled out for offside. The television replay suggests the Addicks were fortunate to get the decision.
They made the most of their slice of luck and could even have snatched all three points at the death. Good work by Parrett down the left needed a desperate header from Jaidi to stop Wright-Phillips doubling his tally.
A draw against in-form and highly rated opponents should put the Addicks in good heart for the run-in to the season. More spirited displays like this, with a bit more invention in the final third, will see them trouble anyone in this division.
Date:Wednesday March 23 2011
Three-Year Deal For Winger (Saturday May 18 2013)
Powell To Molineux? (Friday May 17 2013)
New Addicks Deal For Frenchman (Friday May 17 2013)
Haynes Released (Friday May 17 2013)
Pre-Season: Tour Of Spain (Thursday May 16 2013)
West Ham Target Defender? (Thursday May 16 2013)
Non-League Striker Linked (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Gower Leaves Swansea (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Former Keeper Offered AFC Wimbledon Deal (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Heavy Hearted Decision To Release Wagstaff (Friday May 10 2013)
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