Friday, April 06, 2007

Massive point takes Addicks out of bottom three

It was a Double Bent duo up front for the Addicks in a 4-4-2 formation with Dennis Rommedahl making way for Big Bent at the City of Manchester Stadium writes Erith Addick Paul May.

City won a corner within seconds of the kick off. It was headed away by Song, but played back in for a second City corner off Hreidarsson. Barton's effort was initially cleared by Thomas, but it was played back in, ending in a City throw in. Within two minutes City had won a third corner after Young stood up against Vassell. City kept up the pressure and Carson had to use all his skills as a keeper.
Another City effort was cleared by Faye to give City a fifth corner in three minutes.
City won another throw in. Carson gathered the ball and smashed the ball over the halfway line towards Marcus Bent. Charlton had weathered the initial storm.

Barton caught Thomas in the Achilles and Charlton won a free kick, but the offside flag was shown as the ball went into the net off El Karkouri. City won their sixth corner off Luke Young. It bounced off Marcus Bent's head and Ireland was unable to stop it going out of play for an Addicks throw in.

City threatened from a throw in just after the fifteen minute mark, but El Karkouri was alert to the danger from Mpenza and Carson made a super save. Ireland attempted a volley but the gloved Diawara intervened to block it (Diawara had been told that the North Pole was in the northern suburbs of Manchester).

A free kick was awarded against Marcus Bent as he attempted to reclaim the ball from Jihai. The free kick came off a Charlton head for the seventh City corner of the match. Thomas broke away in a 80 yard run, exploiting space on the left, but the cross to Darren Bent was intercepted. Johnson, who had earlier received the ball in his marriage prospects, put in a wild attempt from 35 yards.

Charlton won their first corner after Isaksson, making only his fifth appearance in the City goal (the illustrious Weaver was on the bench) had to intervene after Thomas had put in a good cross towards Marcus Bent.

Barton was fed by Mpenza but put his drive wide. Thomas put in a low cross to the near post but it was collected by Isaksson. A drive by Barton was well saved by Carson to his right. Under pressure from Marcus Bent, either Isaksson or Ball just touched the ball to give the Addicks a corner on 33 minutes to the annoyance of the Massives. The ball drifted out of play from the corner by Thomas.

City won another corner from a throw in. El Karkouri headed it away, Barton played it back in but Carson collected. Charlton launched a counter attack, but it eventually fizzled out. Johnson went down injured after he was caught by Song.
Barton put in a shot after the ball was cut back and Carson had to make a sprawling save at the expense of a corner. Faye should have got closer to Barton.

Vassell advanced, but the alert Diawara took the ball away from him. City won their ninth corner of the game with just a couple of minutes of normal time to go. Barton's effort was well over, giving Charlton a goal kick.

As normal time came to an end, Charlton won a corner, followed by a second. Song played it out to Thomas. City were awarded a free kick for a foul by Song.

The back four had stood up well to Massive pressure but, apart from the lively Thomas, the midfield had been pretty anonymous, creating very little for Darren Bent.

Half time: Massives 0, Addicks 0

Carson was put under pressure by Mpenza and he had to put it out of play for a City thrown in. City won a corner kick after not much more than a couple of minutes of play but it ended in a free kick for the Addicks.

Jihai conceded a corner kick. Distan kneed it away and City forged forward and won a throw in inside the Charlton half. Charlton applied some pressure as the game went from end to end. Zheng Zhi was looking more effective in a more central position with Marcus Bent out to the right.

City won a corner through Onuoha who then had a free header but managed to put it over the top of the bar. Barton burst forward but was cut out by El Karkouri at the expense of a corner. Charlton were able to clear. Marcus Bent tried to connect with a cross from Thomas.

Charlton conceded another corner which was taken quickly, but Carson was eventually able to gather the ball. The Massive support showed signs of frustration. Luke Young read a City attack well. Young put in a good cross and Charlton had a chance, but City counter attacked, with the ball cut out by El Karkouri. Both sides were looking for a goal.

Bent nicked the ball off Dunne and Jihai had to retrieve the situation by playing the ball off Bent for a goal kick. Wiley gave the free kick after Jihai failed to make contact with Marcus Bent in a rash challenge. El Karkouri's free kick was not good enough.

Charlton had a chance to score with the two Bents setting it up for Zheng Zhi, but Onuoha played the ball off him for a goal kick. Samaras and Trevor Sinclair came on for City, Ireland and Vassell being taken off.

Diawara got in a muddle, but Carson dealt with the situation. The tempo of the game was increasing. Charlton won a corner taken by Zheng Zhi. Faye was caught offside.
Some of the City supporters started to leave. Jihai pushed off Zheng Zhi and Charlton were given a free kick in a good position. Isaksson gathered the free kick from Thomas and City forged forward.

Charlton won another free kick with five minutes of normal time to go. Hreidarsson and Distin had a clash of heads, but the Icelandic international was soon on his feet while the Frenchman needed the smelling salts.

Three minutes of time were added on. Samaras put in a diving header that went just wide. Rommedahl replaced Thomas. City won a free kick, but it was headed away by Faye. The whistle was blown and the boos of the Massives rang round Eastlands.

It was the fifth game at home without scoring a goal for City and the fifth unbeaten match for Charlton. They stood up well in a tough game.


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