Match Report: Charlton 3 Brighton & Hove Albion 2

By Rob Virtue on December 26, 2013 2:25 PM |

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A brace from Lawrie Wilson helped Charlton to an important three points with victory over promotion chasing Brighton on Boxing Day.

It secured the Addicks first win against the south coast side at The Valley since 1984 and sees the Londoners pull away from the drop zone.

Chances were limited in tentative opening. Andrew Crofts' shot for Brighton sailed over the bar while, at the other end, Michael Morrison's effort was blocked.

It took until the 22nd minute for either keeper to be tested and it saw Charlton's Ben Alnwick beaten.

Leonardo Ulloa was the scorer shooting home from 15 yards out to cap off a scrappy move after Crofts had won the ball in the Charlton box.

Charlton nearly responded in style, but Cameron Stewart's shot went just wide of the post.

Then the lively Crofts drove straight at Alnwick from range.

Overall the home side's 4-4-2 was being overrun by the neat-passing Brighton midfielder and the match was in danger of drifting away from the Addicks.

That's why the equaliser came as a welcome surprise for Charlton. Looking slightly isolated, Yann Kermorgant, among a crowd of yellow shirts, picked up the ball in the Brighton box.

Spotting the overlapping Wilson, the Breton slipped the ball through for the right-winger to place it past Peter Brezovan on 32 minutes.

A rocket from Liam Bridcutt nearly put the Seagulls back in front but it flew just wide of Alnwick's upright.

At the other end, Simon Church was bundled over in the box but the referee Mike Russell was unmoved.

The second-half started and it nearly finished early for Adam El-Abd. The Brighton centre-half rugby tackled Kermorgant as the striker raced through 40 yards from goal, but the referee brandished just a yellow card.

But Brighton were looking rattled with the Addicks playing at high intensity and the home side's second was moments away.

On the 58th minute, a cross by Stewart caused chaos in the Brighton penalty area and when the ball fell to Wilson he had time to pick his spot before firing into the roof of the net to put Charltojn ahead.

An exquisite cross from Church proved to be inches too high for Kermorgant while Brighton reminded us they were still in the game when Argentinian Ulloa scuffed wide from well-placed and Will Buckley headed over while unmarked.

Pantomime villain El Abd then carried out a forearm smash on Church leaving the former Reading man in the advertising boards but referee Russell saw no foul.

That left the Egyptian defender, unlike Church temporarily, still on the pitch.

Then a Bridcutt corner found the head of Ulloa who beat Alnwick, only for Dale Stephens to clear off the line.

And that was Brighton's big chance, because, at the other end, Rhoys Wiggins was tripped on the edge of the box.

Kermorgant stepped up to curl the free-kick just inside stranded Brezovan's near post on 75 minutes to put the Addicks 3-1 up and continue to state a fantastic case to the Charlton board for a new contract..

When Brighton hit the post twice in two seconds you realised it wasn't their day. Substitutes Ashley Barnes and Inigo Calderon both rattled the upright and reminders of Charlton's terrible home form this year resurfaced.

Manager Chris Powell made defensive substitutions but the game wasn't over yet. In the first of four minutes injury-time, Ulloa bundled the ball home on the goal-line to give Brighton the chance to dream..

But there was no Christmas magic for the visitors and Charlton held out.

Charlton: Alnwick, Solly, Morrison, Wood, Wiggins; Wilson, Cousins, Stephens, Stewart (Evina 83); Kermorgant, Church (Dervite 83).

Subs not used: Pope, Green, Sordell, Pritchard, Cook.

Brighton: Brezovan, Saltor (Calderon 46), El-Abd, Upson, Ward; Lopez (Barnes 62), Bridcutt, Andrews (Agustien 76), Buckley; Crofts; Ulloa.

Subs not used: Kuszczak, Dunk, Orlandi, Ince.

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