Charlton 1-1 Blackburn
CHARLTON shared the spoils with Blackburn Rovers in a 1-1 draw at The Valley this afternoon.
Dickson Etuhu put the visitors in front on 16 minutes, while Addicks skipper Johnnie Jackson missed a penalty before atoning shortly afterwards by applying the final touch to Danny Hollands’ 27th minute shot to get the hosts back on terms.
Charlton’s striking problems were compounded following Yann Kermorgant’s recent injury as Ricardo Fuller was ruled out after being struck down by a virus.
Bradley Wright-Phillips started up front as the only recognised striker, so Johnnie Jackson played just in behind him with Hollands the man to come back into the starting XI at Fuller’s expense.
Steve Kean’s departure yesterday meant Eric Black was in charge of the visitors for the game, with former Addick Danny Murphy in the Rovers line up.
Dale Stephens blasted harmlessly over from 25 yards in the third minute but they went much closer on the quarter hour when Hollands’ throw in was headed back by Leon Cort to Salim Kerkar, who drilled a low shot just wide of the post.
But within a minute it was the visitors who were in front as Etuhu beat the offside trap after meeting Morten Pedersen’s through ball and fired past Ben Hamer from inside the area.
Parity was almost restored immediately when Cort headed just over from a corner but the Addicks were handed a lifeline back into the game on 26 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Cort by Scott Dann.
Jackson’s penalty was saved by Paul Robinson’s legs but he made amends seconds later when Hollands’ shot from 18 yards took a final touch off the Charlton skipper to beat Robinson and make it 1-1.
Green was only denied by the post in the 35th minute after beating two defenders before lining up a shot from 20 yards.
Jackson’s 40th minute shot was blocked by Bradley Orr after good work on the right by Lawrie Wilson to create the opportunity and send in a cross.
Grant Hanley came on for Gael Givet at the start of the second half as Black made one change for the visitors.
Charlton appealed for a goal after claiming Cort’s 49th minute effort had crossed the line when the central defender connected with Kerkar’s corner, but the ref allowed play to continue.
The Addicks suffered a blow when Jackson had to leave the field after a spell of treatment on the pitch and be replaced by Jackson on 53 minutes.
Pritchard immediately won a free-kick after being tripped by Orr but Stephens’ delivery from out wide on the left flew harmlessly over the bar.
Charlton should have taken the lead when they were awarded a free-kick on the right after Murphy picked up a yellow card.
Kerkar’s free-kick was met by Michael Morrison and appeared to be going in but team-mate Wright-Phillips got in the way and the ball instead deflected off him and behind, much to Morrison’s obvious fury.
The Addicks could have paid a heavy price seconds later at the other end as the home defence failed to clear the initial danger, allowing Nuno Gomes to volley inches over from the edge of the area.
Green had an ambitious crack at goal midway through the second half with a 35 yard free-kick that flew wildly over Robinson’s bar.
Gomes made way for David Dunne in the 72nd minute and the ever lively Green had a long range effort go over moments later.
Robinson had to be alert to tip over Green’s stinging 84th minute shot but Pritchard’s close range effort from Kerkar’s cross was never going to trouble the Blackburn keeper.
Jordan Rhodes had been kept quiet all game but the £8m striker went close in the 89th minute by heading just over after rising high to connect with Jason Lowe’s cross.
Green appealed ambitiously for a stoppage time penalty and then Wright-Phillips had an effort blocked.
There was still time for Wright-Phillips to win it and only a stunning save from Robinson, who tipped his volley over, denied the Charlton striker what would have been a dramatic late winner.
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Charlton: Hamer, Wilson, Morrison, Cort, Solly, Green, Hollands, Stephens, Kerkar (Evina 90), Jackson (Pritchard 53), Wright-Phillips. Subs not used: Button, Wagstaff, Cook, Smith, Dervite. Att: 17,169.