Saturday, November 25, 2006

A draw is not enough

The kick off was preceded by heavy rain and a hailstorm, which then cleared away before the start of the match but left the pitch soaked. The shock news at the start of the match was that ex-Palace diver Andy Johnson was not playing writes Erith Addick Paul May, standing in for Wyn Grant who was on the sick list. Marcus Bent, Thomas and Fortune were dropped. Ambrose came into a five man midfield to play on the left, Faye returned from suspension and Traore was brought in at left back after his long absence, although he made a quick recovery in the circumstances. Hreidarsson moved into the centre.

El Karkouri created an unnecessarily dangerous situation and Charlton had difficulty in clearing their lines from the throw in, leading to an Everton corner and a period of pressure before Young was able to hit the ball up field, although he could have set up a counter attack if he had not dwelt on the ball too long.

Everton won a second corner off Reid. Bent had to head away at the near post. A foul by Reid led to a free kick for Everton in a dangerous position. Charlton struggled to clear, but Luke Young managed to get it away.

Eventually Charlton broke away out from their half but the ball was won back by Everton. El Karkouri stopped a certain goal with a sliding challenge on McFadden in the 'D'. El Karkouri required treatment and the Addicks had to defend an Everton corner with ten men. The Toffeemen were dominating the match, showing better confidence and organisation.

Rommedahl went forward and did a one-two with Andy Reid, but Charlton were denied when Tim Howard smothered the ball. Reid's corner led to a second. Beattie headed clear. Faye made an ambituous attempt from distance. This attack lifted the Addickted.

Carson had to deal with a 25 yard strike from Davis which he collected at the second attempt. After an error by Holland, Everton launched another attack through McFadden, although Holland was able to put the ball out of play.

Ambrose went down far too easily and Everton surged forward. A good cross field ball picked out Traore. Ambrose hit the ball from a long way out, rather than using the options available in the form of Traore and Darren Bent, and his shot sailed over the bar.

El Karkouri put in a two footed challenge on McFadden who was left limping for a short while, but referee Wiley judged that he had got the ball. El Karkouri challenged McFadden again, with one foot this time, and the Toffeeman berated the referee.

Wiley awarded Charlton a free kick halfway in the Everton half, using the opportunity to have a word with El Karkouri, but also with Carsley. El Karkouri's effort from 40 yards went off the wall and produced a corner. A free kick was awarded against El Karkouri for climbing over Beattie. Phil Neville was awarded a yellow card for a challenge on Reid.

Reid fed Rommedahl, Young pounded up the right, but the pass from Rommedahl was poor and the right back slid into Valenti who required treatment.

McFadden shot along the ground but straight at Carson who was wearing a cap to deal with the bright, low sun. The Addickted were subdued as the game went into something of a lull.

Andy Reid shot from 30 yards, it was spilled by Howard, but he had time to recover as no one was following up. Hreidarsson conceded a free kick about 30 yards out, but Beattie's effort caused little trouble when it was taken short. McFadden seemed to stretch a hand out to Rommedahl in the shorts area.

A potentially dangerous cross was caught by Carson with Davis nearby. Bent had half a touch after Reid had turned provider, but the ball bounced into Howard's hands. Rommedahl provided a cross but Ambrose was not able to capitalise on the situation.
The Herminator clattered into McFadden, but Wiley waved play on.

Rommedahl came forward in space but he shot well wide, another goal scoring opportunity wasted by the Danish international. Traore defended well against McFadden. Holland conceded a free kick which Everton tried to take quickly. The latest bout of moaning from McFadden led to a word from Wiley.

Charlton's game was not flowing and Les Reed appeared alongside Mark Robson in the technical area. Traore won the ball well with an excellent sliding challenge. Ambrose made a decent header down to Bent, but he could not take the ball in his stride. The ball boy got one of the biggest cheers of the half as he headed a high ball on to the pitch and raised his arms in acclaim.

Carson dealt with a ball at his near post. The ball was belted down to Darren Bent, but he could not do anything with it as there was not another Charlton player in thirty yards. A disappointing half for Charlton came to an end.

Half time: Addicks 0, Toffees 0

Charlton broke early with Holland who went down under a challenge. Beattie won a corner for Everton in front of their supporters in the Jimmy Seed. A header went wide from Yobo, but referee Wiley had already blown for a free kick. Rommedahl burst into the area and Howard caught the ball. Hreidarsson got a yellow card for an off the ball incident.

Everton won a free kick after a challenge by Faye. The free kick was taken but Wiley called it back. The ball went into the arms of Carson. Faye was given a yellow card to after bringing down Artetta again. From the free kick it took a double deflection and came off El Karkouri and Hreidarsson into the net, although the Dubious Goals Committee may well award it to Osman.

Reid provided a good ball to Bent, Neville got in a header just in front of him and Charlton won a corner. Ambrose's corner was headed away and Everton threatened to break. Beattie came forward, Traore challenged him and conceded a corner. The defender showed signs of tiring. Aretetta's corner was put behind by Hreidarsson for a second corner.

Good pressure by Charlton led to a throw in a promising position, but little resulted from it. With little in the way of a challenge offered by Charlton, Beattie turned provider for Osman who shot just wide.

Young made a good run, but his cross was cleared. In general Charlton didn't look as if they had too many ideas about how to get back in the game, while conceding another was always a danger. Reid made a poor pass straight at Beattie.

When Charlton did get forward, they were often dispossesed by the Everton defence. Charlton took a corner short, a downward free header by Faye from six yards out had insufficient power on it and the ball drifted past the far post.

Reid turned provider for Rommedahl who shot wide from twenty yards. The ineffectual Ambrose was withdrawn and Marcus Bent came on, the 4-5-1 not having worked against the Everton midfield. Carson found himself in danger, but was awarded a free kick.
A super strike from Andy Reid on 67 minutes, his first for the Addicks, scored the equaliser with a quarter of the game to play. Yobo had clattered into Faye and his boot fell off, something which concerned him more than the ball.

Charlton looked better after the goal, showing more fluency and urgency in their build ups. An effort by Beattie from 25 yards was over and wide. Andy Reid turned provider again, Rommedahl tried for goal, but without success. A shot from Marcus Bent was saved comfortably by Howard. A chip from Traore found Marcus Bent in space, but Valenti was able to intervene for Everton to halt Rommedahl.

El Karkouri got the inevitable yellow card for one of his two footed challenges, leading to a free kick for the Toffees. Carsley got a free header at the far post but directed it the wrong way, but continuing pressure led to an Everton corner. Carson punched the ball out and Rommedahl took it away.

Everton brought on fresh legs in the form of two teenage strikers, a somewhat unhappy Beattie coming off along with McFadden. Following a good pass by Rommedahl, Reid had a shooting chance, but Howard palmed the ball away. Howard came out well to save from Darren Bent.

A foul on Marcus Bent by Yobo led to a Charlton free kick. A one-two between Marcus Bent and Faye led to Faye putting the ball out of play. Throughout the match, his passing had been poor.

Everton looked as if they were settling for the draw while Charlton tried to find the three points. Reid bent the ball into the arms of Howard. Charlton applied pressure in the Everton half, but then Hreidarsson conceded a free kick. A good cross from Marcus Bent produced an intervention by Neville and a Charlton corner. Reid's corner was caught by Howard. Davis put in a shot from 30 yards that was just over the crossbar.

Four minutes were added on. Marcus Bent put in a cross, but Rommedahl scuffed his shot when he had an opportunity to score. El Karkouri had to make a challenge at the expense of a throw. A well worked build up led to Darren Bent blazing over from the 'D'. Everton got a free kick for a foul by Luke Young.

Carson made a great clearance to Darren Bent who lost it on the edge of the Everton penalty area.

Should we have started with 4-4-2 rather than 4-4-1-1? The second half was much better. The draw left Charlton bottom of the table on goal difference.


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