Wednesday, December 02, 2009

With-Deon and I

Brighton and Hove Albion 0
Charlton Athletic 2

A professional performance gave Charlton their first away win since August, and very welcome it was to. First half goals from Deon Burton (celebrating, left) and Scott Wagstaff sealed the points, and then the Addicks sat back and played out the match without due alarm.

I wasn’t at the game and can only judge from the online commentary, but it did seem like a comfortable victory once Brighton’s best chance failed to produce a goal; a Tunnicliffe header beat the fit-again Rob Elliot but hit the bar and was then scooped away by the ‘keeper close to the line. Prior to that, Sam Sodje had been booked after an early scuffle at a free-kick, but slowly Charlton took control.

Burton scored with a good header after half an hour from a Nicky Bailey free kick, and shortly afterwards, Wagstaff finished a flowing move from six yards after a good early cross by Grant Basey (below pic). Burton then missed a good chance to seal the points just before half time when he had more time, and the Addicks went into the half-time break two goals to the good.

It took Charlton until eight minutes into second half to win their first corner, after good work by Wagstaff, then Bailey shot just wide with the rebound from his own free kick.

The tireless Dave Mooney headed wide when well placed from an Elliot Omozusi cross after an hour, before Brighton had a goal disallowed for a foul on Elliot after a clearance off the line.

Akpo Sodje came on as a substitute for Burton after 72 minutes and he shot just wide after another fast break led by Wagstaff. Mooney then saw his header saved and the follow up effort also saved after a cross by Lloyd Sam.

Mooney’s final action of the night was to be booked for kicking ball away with five minutes left, as Izale McLeod came on for him. Rob Elliot had earlier been booked for time wasting, as was Jose Semedo for a foul, and Jose is now suspended for this weekend’s game against Southend.

Some of the other results went Charlton’s way, and they now find themselves four points clear of the chasing pack, while still five points behind leaders Leeds.

The away win monkey has been despatched at long last, and the run in to Xmas could provide more wins looking at the league table. Norwich eased past Southend in Essex last night, so Charlton will look to do likewise on Saturday to maintain that gap.

Finally, a big shout for Phil Parkinson for playing Wagstaff on the left wing ahead of Jonjo Shelvey and Therry Racon; Wagstaff responded with a goal in his first full league start, and it will be tough now to leave him out after such a positive display. That leaves Shelvey and Racon, plus Matt Spring as a pretty useful back-up midfield as the suspensions and injuries kick in later in the season. With Semedo out on Saturday, it will be an interesting move to see who Parky picks to play alongside Bailey.

Onwards and upwards!

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