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Charlton Athletic
2 - 2
Derby County

The Valley

15/12/08 19.45

Attendance: 20, 989


A poor quality game at The Valley ended all square after Nathan Ellington fired home a dramatic equaliser four minutes into injury time to hand The Rams a point and extend Charlton`s winless streak to thirteen. Both sides were severely lacking in confidence, and it showed, in a game where neither side could string together moves of any real quality and the chances were few and far between and usually down to mistakes from defenders rather than any great skill. The kick-off had been delayed by fifteen minutes due to traffic on the way to the ground for the Derby team coach and the Sky cameras were hardly treated to a feast of football despite the late drama.

Derby made changes to their starting line-up bringing in Gary Teale on the right of midfield and started with Nathan Ellington and Luke Varney up front after Rob Hulse was ruled out with a virus, there was also a surprise place on the bench for Giles Barnes. Charlton also made six changes to the side beaten by Coventry last time out as they looked to shake their miserable run of form.

Both sides looked nervous early on and there were only sporadic moments of danger. Gary Teale put over two dangerous looking balls from wide being the only moments of promise from Derby and a run by Martyn Waghorn the bright spot for Charlton. The first real chance didn`t arrive until the 27th minute when Kazmierczak shanked a clearance and the ball fell to Lloyd Sam who took a touch before firing a fierce shot against the post with the ball bouncing to safety.

Waghorn broke down the right and beat Albrechtsen before going for goal himself from a tight angle, when squaring to a colleague would have been far the better option, and Bywater saved easily. Zadkovich then should have done better at the other end when Kazmierczak hooked a cross into the box but the Australian didn`t get enough on his header when well placed and unmarked eight yards out and the ball drifted harmlessly wide.

Charlton took the lead from a defensive lapse on 33 minutes when a strong Stewart challenge seemed to have cleared the danger but Semedo played the ball back in and Andy Gray held off Darren Powell far to easily before poking his effort past Bywater for a 1-0 lead. The goal certainly upped the home side`s confidence but they couldn`t create any further chances and Kazmierczak had the only real effort of note in the remaining time but his shot was blocked before it troubled Elliott in the Charlton goal.

Kris Commons came on for Kazmierczak at halftime but Charlton had the first chance of the second half when Bouazza fired over from a free-kick on the edge of the box after Powell gave away a foul after being caught out of position again. Giles Barnes was brought on for Zadkovich on 53 minutes as Jewell looked to shake things up in midfield for the youngster`s first appearance since February.

Bouazza escaped the offside trap only to fire harmlessly over and Gary Teale fired in a decent effort from range that forced Elliott into a low save and the rebound was toed away from Varney as he looked set to pounce. Bywater then pulled off two saves in quick succession, firstly to deny Bouazza as his pace got him in behind The Rams` defence and then saving from Sam from the rebound.

Gary Teale looked to have put Derby on level terms when he touched in Commons` cross from the left but the flag was up for offside. Replays showed that the flag was correctly raised against the former Forest man before he put the ball across rather than for Teale as he tapped in from close range. The Rams were level moments later though when Teale`s cross was handled by Semedo and the referee duly pointed to the spot. Up stepped Nathan Ellington to show his usual calmness and after a straight run up he simply rolled the ball to the keeper`s right to even the game up.

The parity didn`t last for long however, Lloyd Sam escaped the offside trap and, after being given space in the box, pulled the ball back to Waghorn whose shot took a massive deflection off the unlucky Connolly and looped over Bywater and into the net. James Tomkins took over from Powell with twenty minutes to go and Connolly soon found himself in the book for a late challenge despite making absolutely no contact with his opponent.

Derby could not get hold of the ball to mount any serious pressure as they looked to get back in the match and it took a good block from Commons to deny Gillespie from getting an effort on goal in the dieing minutes, the Derby man was then involved at the other end curling a twenty-yarder over the top when well placed. As the clock showed four minutes of overtime nearly up a long throw from Connolly was nodded on by a Charlton head and fell towards Nathan Ellington who smashed his effort into the top corner to snatch a point for the visitors and deny the home side their first win in thirteen games.

Star Player

Nathan Ellington

he two goal hero, another ice cool penalty and a top rate finish at the end to earn a point. Did well off the scraps he was given and Jewell has now challenged him to reproduce his Carling Cup form in the league.

Player Ratings

Stephen Bywater 7

One of the few to come out of the game with any credit, no chance with the goals and made a couple of important saves when called upon.

Paul Connolly 7

Looks to be getting back to form and put in a couple of crunching tackles trying to get his side fired up.

Jordan Stewart 6

A couple of runs forward but gave away possession to readily although he wasn`t the only culprit.

Martin Albrechtsen 6

Quiet game for the Dane, no real threat for most of the game from Charlton but won the ball when called on.

Darren Powell 5

Poor, caught out of position to easily and should`ve done better with Gray`s opener. Good decision to replace him.

Przemyslaw Kazmierczak 6

Fluffed a clearance that nearly gave Charlton the lead and generally on the periphery of the game.

Miles Addison 6

One of those days, you can`t fault his effort but the youngster just couldn`t get in the game.

Ruben Zadkovich 6

Ran all night but largely anonymous in the centre of the pitch and should have done better with a header when unmarked in the area.

Gary Teale 6

Couple of decent balls in early on and one shot of note from range but another who gives the ball away fair to easily and doesn`t have the bottle for the physical fight needed in a game like this.

Luke Varney 6

Alongside Ellington seemed to be the target for a number of punts upfield and deep crosses as Derby looked to play long for the majority of the match.

Nathan Ellington 8

Another great penalty and took his chance well at the end to earn a share of the spoils, frustrating night for the front man with aimless balls fired up to him all night.

Kris Commons 6

Other than being caught offside for Teale`s goal and a late twenty-yarder he wasn`t involved, disappointing going forward.

Giles Barnes 6

Out for nine months and it showed, didn`t get involved in the match but the run-out won`t do him any harm.

James Tomkins 6

Looked far more assured than Powell and must be in line for a start on Saturday.

Manager Rating

Looked increasingly frustrated on the touchline as the match wore on and despite his side claiming a point there can`t be many positives to take from this game. A surprise recall for Gary Teale seemed a strange decision and the winger certainly didn`t cover himself in glory again and the continuing inclusion of Darren Powell when Tomkins and Nyatanga are available for selection must raise eyebrows amongst the Derby faithful. His side certainly don`t let go like last season but the lack of quality and inability to keep hold of the ball is beginning to be a theme in the last few weeks.

Date:Tuesday December 16 2008
Time: 8:18PM

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