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Charlton 2-2 Fulham Cham 10 1516 - The Guardian

last updated Tuesday 06th October 2015, 11:27 AM

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The Guardian

Charlton (0) 2-2 (1) Fulham

Charlton dramatically rescued a point with a stoppage-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw at home to their London rivals Fulham.

In what was a strangely uncompetitive affair until the final 10 minutes between two teams bereft of confidence, Fulham appeared destined for victory after taking the lead through goals from Ryan Tunnicliffe and Ross McCormack.

However, Charlton's captain, Johnnie Jackson, on as a substitute, inspired an unlikely comeback by scoring with his first touch before Jordan Cousins headed home their second.

The shared points will do little to ease the pressure that had been building on both managers. Fulham's Kit Symons knows his team are expected to improve on their present position of 13th, while his opposite number, Guy Luzon, will feel Charlton should be more than two points above the relegation zone.

A decade ago Charlton against Fulham represented a Premier League fixture between two promising teams but on Sunday it was a match-up of two Championship sides in need of an identity.

There is little question each hope to return to the Premier League in the near future but what is less clear is how realistic that ambition is. As they had 12 months ago, Charlton began this season encouragingly but they have since lost five of their last seven.

Fulham are similarly unpredictable. Two games ago they defeated QPR 4-0 but a 3-0 home defeat by Wolves four days later left them demoralised.

Had Charlton's Conor McAleny converted the gilt-edged first-minute chance that came his way, therefore, Fulham's heads might again have dropped and the home team could perhaps have capitalised by earning a convincing victory. Instead, despite both time and space following Cousins' superb pass, the forward, on loan from Everton, somehow managed to send his shot wide of the left-hand post.

Fulham's greatest threat early on had come from distance when both Jazz Richards and Jamie O'Hara, playing as though aware of Nick Pope's error-prone form in goal, attempted to score from midfield. Richards' shot was heading towards the top-left corner, where Pope unconvincingly saved, and the goalkeeper tipped O'Hara's effort round the post.

Perhaps inevitably, though, another costly mistake gave the visitors the lead. Fumbling McCormack's 32nd-minute free-kick, Pope spilled the ball to Tunnicliffe, who tapped in with ease in front of goal.

Their second, in the 59th minute, also came after a touch of good fortune. Charlton remained static as Tunnicliffe sent a left-wing cross towards the lively McCormack. His control deserting him, the forward sent the ball yards ahead of him but was still able to reach it first before impressively shooting with his left foot across the area and beyond Pope into the bottom-right corner.

Jackson, one of the few survivors from Chris Powell's reign before Roland Duch√Ętelet's January 2014 takeover, scored with a header from Johann Berg Gudmundsson's 81st-minute corner and Charlton responded with greater intensity.

Chances came at both ends in the closing stages before, in stoppage time, Cousins read Karlan Ahearne-Grant's left-wing cross to head powerfully beyond Andrew Lonergan from close range in stoppage time and seal a 2-2 draw.

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