Monday, January 02, 2006

Charlton come unstuck against Toffees

Erith Addick Paul May reports from Goodison Park

The shock news from Goodison Park is that Radostin Kishishev, named our man of the match against the Irons, has been relegated to the bench in favour of Danny Murphy. Surprisingly, both Holland and Hughes are preferred to the battling Bulgarian. Otherwise, the team was unchanged in a 4-4-2 formation wearing its white shirts, Myhre revisiting the ground where he spent four years.

Before the match, a naff tune belted out 'Everton, we never shone so brightly' which hardly seems an accurate description of the situation. Then we had the inevitable retro Z cars which fits the tatty ground, I suppose. The game got under way late, perhaps Merv was finishing his pie.

The match started quietly. The Everton fans were restless and soon got on their team's back. Bent made an effort along the ground which was comfortably saved by Martyn.

Kevin Kilbane went down on 7 minutes after very little contact and referee Rennie first thought about giving a free kick outside the box but then gave a harsh penalty against Rommedahl who received a yellow card. Myhre saved off Beattie, guessing well that the ball would go to the right, but the ball fell well for Beattie and he scored from the follow up.

Hreidarsson was struggling after he suffered an injury to his thigh, but tried to run it off. Charlton tried to apply some pressure. Then Everton surged forward and Hughes had to put the ball behind to give the Toffees a corner. A Cahill header went over the bar as the quarter hour point was reached.

Then Matt Holland scored from the edge of the penalty area with a low volley, following through after an attempt by Fortune to make it 1-1. The home fans started to get nervous again.

Beattie failed to control the ball in a good position. Charlton surged forward and a threatening effort by Bent was dealt with by Valente. Ferguson once agained clashed with Fortune with the Addick standing up well. Everton were given a corner, apparently for a foul by Holland on Cahill. After some play in front of goal, Myhre caught the ball well. A bicycle kick by Ferguson went straight into the hands of Myhre which roused the home crowd.

Charlton had a chance, Hughes tried to control the ball, possibly with his arm, but he put the ball over the crossbar. Kilbane tore into the penalty area, getting in front of Luke Young, but his effort hit the post. Everton won a corner down the left, but Powell headed away. Rommedahl turned provider for Hughes, but his header went over. At least the Addicks were creating chances.

Rennie gave a free kick against Fortune in a dangerous position, Ferguson looking as amazed as anyone. The free kick was taken quickly, the back line was asleep apart from Luke Young who was out muscled and Cahill scored from a header. Chris Powell had to put the ball behind to give the Toffees a corner. Eventually the ball was hacked clear. Charlton had been performing well, but the second goal demoralised them.

Half time: Toffees 2, Addicks 1

Murphy made a hurried effort from the edge of the box and it sailed over Martyn's goal as the home fans maintained a reverent hush. Charlton won their first corner of the game, but Martyn caught it comfortably. An Everton free kick created danger for Charlton with a loose ball in the box. Hughes stormed forward, but Rommedahl slipped over.

Murphy gave the ball away and the Toffees stormed forward. Then Charlton provided some pressure, but Cahill got the clearance as the game entered a scrappy phase. From a free kick, Kilbane drew Young away, Cahill gave Holland who was marking him a little push and the Cahill rose from 6 yards out to head past Myhre to make it 3-1 fifteen minutes into the half. Once again a set piece was not sufficiently well defended.

Bent surged forward, Martyn made a half hearted clearance which went to Bartlett but the Springbok put it over the bar from 35 yards having given it too much power. A chance wasted.

Murphy was pulled off after a rather poor game in which Cahill was all over him while Hughes was replaced by Ambrose. Charlton were losing their rhythm. Charlton won their second corner of the game after a free kick from the centre circle. Cahill broke forward and eventually the Addicks won the ball back. Bent was given a yellow card for an alleged foul when Beattie was through one on one.

Cahill scored, but it was ruled out by the referee with a free kick to Charlton in the penalty area. Rommedahl was taken off and was replaced by super sub Kevin Lisbie. Fortune's header struck the post and came off Martyn's arm who then gathered the ball.

Charlton won a free kick on the halfway line after Hreidarsson was brought down, leaving him hobbling. Everton were able to clear. With ten minutes left, the Addicks were looking increasingly stretched. Lisbie conceded a free kick to Everton.
Lisbie made a great leap to head the ball back, Ambrose had a go from a promising position, but the ball went over the crossbar. Another chance wasted.

Ambrose had a shot, Lisbie turned the follow up into the side netting, another chance wasted. Ferguson went off and was replaced by rumoured Charlton target Marcus Bent.

In the two minutes of time added on, Everton won a late corner. Cahill powered through and his shot hit the crossbar from 18 yards out.

Defensive errors at set pieces let Charlton down, but some chances to score were also missed, although they all fell to midfielders or defenders. The West Ham result was more of a breathing space than a recovery.


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