Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The dream is over

The dream of Charlton getting to the FA Cup semi-final or even the final is over, reports Erith addick Paul May as he heads back on the long train journey to London. A failure to take some early chances, poor defending in the absence of the much missed Luke Young and, it has to be admitted, some fluent passing and great play by Boro saw the Addicks go down to a 4-2 defeat at the Riverside.

Early in the game Rommedahl turned provider for Bartlett and the Springbok saw his header turned round the post by Schwarzer in the Boro goal. Then Rommedahl put in a great cross and Bent should perhaps have done better with Schwarzer making a point blank save with his legs from the striker.

Boro were awarded a free kick against Chris Perry. Myhre saw Hasselbank's effort, which took a slight bounce, late and it found the back of the net to make it 1-0 to the home side. However, within two minutes the Addicks had equalised. A long throw in from Spector found Bryan Hughes who has a great record of scoring cup goals and he found the back of the net with an incisive strike.

Schwarzer saved again from Bent and the striker should have perhaps done better with his second touch. Boro were awarded a free kick against Spector, but Boateng's effort went wide. A Boro corner was conceded by Spector, a free kick by Bent and this led to another Boro corner, but Myhre was eventually able to save.

Then a muddle in the Charlton defence for which the captain Hreidarsson was at fault allowed Morrison to burst through and make it 2-1. This was really the decisive moment in the match as after that the Addicks were chasing the game. It would have been 3-1 if it hadn't been for a superb save from Hasselbank by Myhre.

Perry, who looked good all evening, put in an effective challenge on Viduka. Kishishev had a go, but his effort was easily saved by Schwarzer. Charlton managed to apply some pressure, but then Viduka put in an effort that was just wide. Rommedahl made a good run forward, but slipped at the vital moment.

Half time: Boro 2, Addicks 1

Myhre had to make a save from Hasselbank. Perry got a yellow card for a tackle from behind on Hasselbank. Charlton were not inspiring in the opening phase of the second half and the anonymous Holland was withdrawn in favour of Thomas. Shortly afterwards, Bothroyd replaced Bartlett who had been too inclined to drift back in defence. Hasselbank was given a yellow card. Downing put in an effort that was just over.

Boro attacked three on three and Chris Powell was outmanoeuvred, allowing Hasselbank to make it 3-1. However, once again Charlton were soon back in it. From an Addicks free kick, the ball found the back of the net. It was attributed as an own goal by Southgate, but Bothroyd was heavily involved. Game on?

However, Viduka completely out maneouvred the Charlton defence to make it 4-2. When Viduka and Hasselbank are playing at their best, as was the case tonight, Boro are tough opponents.

Schwarzer lost the ball, but a free kick was awarded anyway. Kish was taken off and Euell came on, too late to make a difference. Boro had a call for a penalty, but it was denied, just as it had been when Bent was brought down earlier.

Charlton won a late corner, but Rommedahl's effort was too high. Spector was injured and went down off the pitch and was seen hobbling away, but one thing that was clear is how much we missed Luke Young. However, it's doubtful whether any Charlton line up could have beaten Boro tonight.


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