Charlton Athletic 1 Blackburn Rovers 1

By Rob Virtue on September 29, 2012 5:03 PM |


Charlton were unable to see off Blackburn in a well contested Championship match at The Valley on Saturday.

The Addicks had the better of the chances but the woodwork and Rovers' goalkeeper Paul Robinson kept the scores at 1-1.

Two noticeable absentees from today's match were Addicks' striker Ricardo Fuller, who scored on his full debut against Ipswich last weekend, and Rovers' under-fire former manager Steve Kean.

While Fuller had succumbed to a virus, Kean's reasons were less clear cut. The scot quit his post on Friday evening with media sources citing interference in team selection from the Blackburn owners.

His assistant Eric Black took charge, hoping to reverse a record of two defeats in two as a caretaker manager earned in his previous separate positions at Birmingham City and Sunderland.

Without Fuller - as well as fellow injured striker Yann Kermorgant, who recently underwent an ankle operation - Chris Powell brought in Danny Hollands rather than young target man Michael Smith to make it a five-man midfield.

The formation resulted in a conservative start to the game, with the midfield looking edgy and harassed and passes often launched to the head of the isolated Bradley Wright-Phillips.

For Blackburn, Danny Murphy, who left the Addicks for Tottenham in 2006 after a fall-out with then Charlton boss Alan Curbishley, was dropping deep to find space but was unable to conjure up anything of note.

The first real chance fell to Charlton 15 minutes in when Rovers failed to clear a cross and left-winger Salim Kerkar fired in a shot from inside the box which flew just wide of the post.

It was a miss they would rue moments later when Charlton's Chris Solly found himself the wrong side of Rovers' midfielder Dickson Etuhu after being played through by Morten Gamst Pedersen.

Just 12-yards out, Etuhu composed himself to fire past goalkeeper Ben Hamer to put the away side in front.

With Charlton somewhat toothless referee Darren Deadman offered them a way back into the game on 25 minutes.

A free-kick came into the box and Leon Cort went down under the challenge of Ryan Lowe.

Jackson's spot-kick was low and hard but so were Paul Robinson's legs and the keeper deflected the ball up and away to safety.

By the time Charlton fans had raised their heads again the ball was back in the box and at Danny Holland's feet.

Relief is probably not a strong enough word to describe the Charlton captain's emotion when he flicked Holland's imperfect shot bounce past a host of defenders and into Robinson's net for the equaliser.

And perhaps if the unfortunate Kean wasn't able to raise a wry smile when that scoreline came through he would have if he'd heard the Charlton fans singing 'Steve Kean's too good for you' to the away end.

Charlton were in the ascendancy, with the players moving fluidly in their new formation and Jackson and the tigerish Solly leading by example harrying the Rovers players in their brief periods of possession.

And it was Danny Green who come agonisingly close to putting the reds in front before the break when his shot from the edge of the area came back off Robinson's left-hand upright.

The second half continued in a similar vein and the Addicks couldn't again came close to a second when a Jackson corner was bundled towards goal by Kerkar but Robinson clawed the ball out from off the line.

The home side were hit with a blow just six minutes after the break when captain Jackson became the latest Charlton injury victim, hobbling off to make way for Bradley Pritchard.

However, Blackburn were lacking and seemed there for the taking.

That should have happened when the away side's defence went AWOL as Kerkar swung in a free-kick.

Michael Morrison glanced it to goal but Wright-Phillips was in the way and the ball deflected to safety.

Desipte the Londoner's looking much more effective the danger was still there at the other end, particularly with their £8million signing from Huddersfield Jordan Rhodes leading the line.

It was his partner, however, Portuguese forward Nuno Gomes, who had Hamer flying through the air trying to save a shot from 15 yards but the ball went inches over the bar.

But Black looked keen on closing the game down, bringing on David Dunn for Gomes to match the Addicks' formation with 15 minutes remaining.

It managed to slow down the game somewhat and Charlton's next effort was from distance. Green let fly from 25 yards but Robinson beat the ball away.

Kerkar was showing magic on the left and how Powell would have wished one of his two warrior forwards would have been there to get on the end of one of the former Rangers man's crosses.

With minutes ticking away Rhodes was given his first sniff but could only nod the ball wide.

At the other end, Charlton piled forward for one last long throw into the box from Green and as the ball bounced around Wright- Phillips attempted a flying overhead kick but Robinson tipped the ball over the bar to ensure the points would be shared.

Attendance: 17,169