Saturday, January 28, 2006

Bothroyd stops Steele Fortune cash-in

Charlton Athletic 2 Leyton Orient 1

Charlton won an FA Cup thriller at the Valley earlier today, courtesy of an injury time winner from Jay Bothroyd (left). As the sides passed the 90 minute mark locked at one goal each, a money-spinning replay loomed nearer for The O's and their 6000 travelling fans. It was not to be though. Darren Ambrose burst through the centre of defence and was tripped just outside the penalty area. For the third time this season, as he has with all his previous Charlton goals, Jay Bothroyd smashed the resulted free kick into the back of the net at the North Stand end. The shirt came off, Bothroyd was duly booked, and Orient had one last fling in attack before ref Alan Wiley blew the full time whistle.

The official site match report is here.

Earlier, Charlton had taken an early lead (left), through Jon Fortune's stooping header, although there was a hint of offside about it. Darren Bent was crudely fouled out wide by Mackie, and Darren Ambrose's free kick was nodded in.

Charlton looked well worth their lead, but could not capitalise, and the O's gradually regained confidence and came into the game more. The five minutes before half time were particulay poor from Charlton's perspective, as Orient were given possession time and again, and four shots got progressivley closer to the goal. The last of these clipped the top of the bar with Myrhe well beaten.

The Charlton fans among the 22029 crowd hoped for a better second half performance, but it didn't start that way. Luke Steele scored after 52 minutes (left), having been played in on the left side of the penalty box. His firm, low, shot squirmed under Thomas Myrhe's body, and rolled into the unguarded net. This summed up the game from Luke Young's perspective - he was uncomfortable and fairly poor throughout in attack and defence.

Curbishley neeed to make substitutions, and the crowd became agitated as Jay Bothroyd stripped and seemed ready to join the fray, but was held back for several minutes. Eventually, Bothroyd, plus the fit-again pair of Alexei Smertin and Jerome Thomas all came on together, in place of the ineffective Shaun Bartlett, the seemingly uninterested Bryan Hughes, plus the labouring Radistan Kishishev.

The substitutions galvanised the crowd, and the team, and Smertin and Thomas immediately saw much of the ball. Our Russian made several jinking runs across the front of the penalty area, but could not find room for a clear shot on any occasion. Thomas had one effort blocked and another just wide at the near post. Orient therefore played much of the last twenty minutes on the break, but Fortune, Hreidersson, and Powell did good work in nullifying any chances for the visitors.

As the game neared its end, it seemed as if a replay would ensue, and thus postpone once more the re-arranged Liverpool Premiership match. But Ambrose burst and Bothroyds (left) shot lifted the Charlton fans out of their seats and much celebration ensued on and off the pitch. It could have been classed as Jay's second black-out of the season - the first at the wheel of his car in December and the second knocking the black shirted O's out of the Cup!

Charlton go into the fifth round for the second consecutive season, and will be hoping for another home tie, but a better result than in last years match. For Orient, they can travel back through the Blackwall tunnel with pride intact, and can concentrate on their league position until May.

The draw for the fifth round is at 1.30 on Monday.

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