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Match Report - Charlton 1 Fulham 1

last updated Tuesday 18th October 2005, 9:21 AM
Charlton missed the chance to climb back up to second in the Barclays Premiership as they came from behind to draw with battling Fulham at The Valley.
Collins John scores again to give Fulham a valuable away point at Charlton
Collins John scores again to give Fulham a valuable away point at Charlton

The Addicks had won five of the first seven games - and needed another victory to reclaim their place at the head of the chasing pack behind runaway leaders Chelsea.

But after trailing to a fine strike from Collins John on 28 minutes, Alan Curbishley's men had to be content with a draw for the first time this season after they could not conjure a winner following Danny Murphy's equaliser at the start of the second half.

Fulham had lost their previous three Premiership games, to leave themselves in the relegation zone.

And so it was no surprise to see Chris Coleman elect to pack the midfield, leaving leading scorer Brian McBride on the bench.

It was Charlton, though, who created the first opening after nine minutes.

A perfectly-weighted through ball from Murphy ran into the path of Dennis Rommedahl, dashing in from the right.

The Dane killed the ball with his first touch, side-stepped Alain Goma and then crashed a low, left-foot strike against the base of the far post, with Mark Crossley beaten.

Fulham then had a good chance to take the lead.

Full-back Moritz Volz powered his way into the right side of the Charlton box, before drawing Stephan Andersen and then pulling the ball back to John.

The Dutch striker, though, could not get the pass under control, and dragged his shot wide of goal.

John was then inches away from connecting with a fine centre into the six-yard box from skipper Luis Boa Morte on the left.

Charlton frontman Darren Bent sprung the offside trap after 15 minutes, but the pass from Murphy had just too much pace on it for him to collect, and Crossley sped to the edge of his area to make the clearance.

The in-form striker was then picked out by a fine low centre from Rommedahl, but sliding into the six-yard box ahead of Volz, Bent failed to connect properly and the ball spun wide.

Yet after dominating the opening exchanges, the home side found themselves behind on 27 minutes.

Addicks midfielder Radostin Kishishev was cautioned for bundling over Claus Jensen, which proved a costly error by the Bulgarian.

Steed Malbranque latched onto the quick pass down the right, and lofted the ball into the box, which was spectacularly hooked into the far right corner by John from 15 yards out.

The goal had come against the run of play, and Charlton went in search of an immediate equaliser.

However, they were then vulnerable on the break, and the impressive Malbranque soon flashed a low drive across goal.

Match Stats Charlton Fulham
Goals 1 1
Possession 57% 43%
Goal attempts 18 17
On Target 3 1
Corners 6 1
Fouls 18 21
OffSides 5 4
Yellows 2 3
Reds 0 0
source: skysport

Phillippe Christanval had to be replaced by Tomasz Radzinski 10 minutes before half-time, the Frenchman looking to have sustained a leg injury, possibly in the challenge on Chris Powell which had earned him a caution earlier.

Canadian Radzinski drilled a low, angled effort back across goal - and just wide of Andersen's left-hand post after the ball broke to him through a crowd of players following a free-kick.

In first-half stoppage time, Rommedahl's centre from the right was almost stabbed home by the on-rushing Hermann Hreidarsson, who had arrived into the six-yard box at some pace and at full stretch.

Charlton came out for the second half in determined mood - and were level within three minutes of the restart.

The ball was fed out to Powell down the left channel.

His centre into the penalty area was just ahead of Rommedahl, but fell right into the path of an unmarked Murphy, 12 yards out on the far side.

The former England midfielder had time to set himself and drill a low shot back past Crossley into the left corner.

In the 55th minute, a Fulham free-kick from the right touchline was met firmly by Papa Bouba Diop in the six-yard box - but the towering Senegal midfielder could not keep his power header down.

Charlton substitute Jay Bothroyd - signed on deadline day from Perugia and now on for Thomas - looked hungry.

He showed good strength to get fashion an opening on the edge of the box. Crossley, though, got plenty behind the striker's low shot to make a comfortable save.

With 17 minutes left, Murphy's deep free-kick from the right floated over to Chris Perry at the back post - but the centre-half's flying header went high over the crossbar.

Despite pressing again during the closing stages, Charlton could not conjure a winner.

In fact, Fulham almost won it in stoppage time when, on the counter attack, Malbranque picked out Boa Morte at the back post - but the skipper fired wide.

Charlton Andersen, Young, Perry, Hreidarsson, Powell, Rommedahl, Kishishev (El Karkouri 76), Murphy, Smertin (Hughes 82), Thomas (Bothroyd 59), Bent.
Subs Not Used: Spector, Myhre.

Booked: Kishishev, El Karkouri.

Goals: Murphy 47.

Fulham Crossley, Volz, Goma, Bocanegra, Niclas Jensen, Malbranque, Claus Jensen, Christanval (Radzinski 35), Diop, Boa Morte, John (McBride 78).
Subs Not Used: Warner, Helguson, Rosenior.

Booked: Philippe Christanval (29, f), Moritz Volz (68, f), Steed Malbranque (86, f)

Goals: John 28 (volleyed right-footed into bottom-right of goal from centre of penalty area, 18 yards out)

Att: 26,310

Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).

Source SportingLife
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