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Charlton Athletic 2 - Watford 2

The Valley

16.02.08

Attendance: 26 337

Horns jump joint top

A point is always more satisfying when you`ve come from behind and a game between two promotion chasers is always likely to be quite tight. So looking at today`s draw with that slant, a point at the Valley is good. However, when you look at West Brom`s result, 5-0 winners at Coventry and realize it was the F.A Cup you see what you are up against and realize it`s an opportunity missed.

When you consider the Hornets first half ineptitude at the back, then it really is a wonder they managed to come away with a point, irrespective of the opposition. Charlton are a good side, and if they take sides apart with Watford`s defensive credentials, who knows what they will do to the likes of Colchester or Scunthorpe?

Aside from their two goals, the Addicks failed to create a huge amount, but the way they carved Watford`s midfield and backline to shreds was devastating and their lack of chances was not of significance considering their conversion rate. Lloyd Sam made the first seeing him beat Mat Sadler before whipping in toward Andy Gray. The former Burnley talisman flicked across the six yard box and Darren Ambrose was on-hand to knock home at the far post.

Delightful football, but their best previous chance had been as route one as possible. The strike duo combined again, this time 'keeper Nicky Weaver the instigator as he hoofed forward, Gray flicking on, Varney volleying just wide.

The second was again down to the hard work down the right as this time, Greg Halford skipped past a couple of Golden Boys before sending in a stinging cross for Dan Shittu to divert past Weaver. One way to show his former employers what they missed out on!

Watford`s challenge was not killed off entirely as Jobi McAnuff proved, twisting and turning past Greg Halford before crashing a right-footed stinger off Nicky Weaver`s left-hand post. The ball re-bounding clear, Watford`s half summed up.

Half-time: 2-0

This Watford side has learnt though, and humiliation such as that suffered against Leicester earlier this season was avoided. But is it any surprise when the teacher is Aidy Boothroyd? The arrival of John-Joe O`Toole might have been seen as a strange one at half-time, but just nine minutes in, his arrival was justified.

Almost a carbon copy of Charlton`s second, Tommy Smith broke down the right before whipping a devastatingly accurate cross into the near post for John-Joe to slide in an notch. Comeback on and a fitting reward after his incorrect midweek dismissal.

That was not the end of things though as a minute later a corner whipped in from the right was met by the head of Dan Shittu to rub salt into the wounds of Addicks fans who had earlier taunted the big man.

Watford were done there, but only thanks to the heroics of Nicky Weaver who kept the scores level with a fine stop from another Shittu header before tipping Jobi McAnuff`s arrow of a drive around the post. Watford rejuvenated, Charlton on the back foot.

A last minute free kick. Step forward Mat Sadler, a new hero in the making?

Oh so nearly; the former Brum defender stepped up, curling his set-piece inches over the Addicks crossbar. Close but no cigar, but then who smokes cigars when the job aint complete? Bring on those who stand in the way of promotion…

Charlton Athletic
Weaver, Halford, McCarthy, Fortune, Youga, Sam (Thomas 77), Zhi, Holland, Ambrose (Cook 68), Varney, Gray (Iwelumo 78).
Subs Not Used: Elliot, Sodje.
Goals: Ambrose 15, Shittu 36 og.
Referee: Mr Paul Taylor (Herts!?)

Star Player

John Eustace/Jobi McAnuff

Player Ratings


Lee (c)-7

Didn't have a huge amount of work, but did look suspect with early kicking.

Mariappa-7

Hard to see Doyley getting back in the side at this rate.

Shittu-7

Imperious through, ableit own-goal. Leveller was just reward.

Bromby-7

Getting more and more assured with every game.

Sadler-7

Goals came from down his side, but little he could do.

Smith-6

Quiet on return from injury 'faffed' too much.

Eustace-8

Broke up the play magnificently and worked his socks off.

Bangura-5

Poor and rightly replaced.

McAnuff-8

Made numerous chances and unlucky not to score.

Henderson-7

Another tireless, dogged performance.

Ellington-7

Linked up well and took ball forward well to boot.

Manager Rating

Aidy Boothroyd-9
Must have said something inspirational at half time because his side dominated after the break. Also made a good substitution.

Opponent Rating

Alan Pardew-7
Will be dissapointed at second half surrender, but attacking was joy to behold.

We said:

'I told them that fighting back from 2-0 down was what winning championships was all about.
'Stoke fought back to beat Scunthorpe on Friday and they are top of the Championship table because they have scored one more goal than us.

'Promotion will be decided by such fine margins and I told the players someone would have to make the difference.'

They said:

'Things like that can cost you at the end of the season.
'The referee assisted them with some of his decisions, and he damaged us by blowing up on other occasions.

'We are playing catch-up in this division and it would have been huge for us to get three points today.'

Sources: BBC Sport




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The Journalist

Writer: wfc123 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 16 2008

Time: 8:42PM

Your Comments

congratulations on your come back at the valley last saturday,i do like your club because your down to earth and enjoy football and you have a very good manager,hope you do go up,think our best will be play offs..........
stuie70
 

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