Harriott double sees Charlton beat Watford

By Rob Virtue on April 29, 2014 10:01 PM |

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A spectacular double from Callum Harriott help ensure Charlton's Championship survival at The Valley on Tuesday night.

The young midfielder opened the scoring and then closed it with equally sweet strikes as the Addicks beat Watford 3-1.

The result means the south-east Londoners can relax ahead of Saturday's season finale against Blackpool.

But it was far from smooth going for the vast majority of this match.

Any hopes Charlton had that their midtable opposition would be taking it easy were misguided. Watford dominated possession in the opening stage with some slick passing.

And ten minutes in goalkeeper Ben Hamer had to rush out to block Troy Deeney after the striker raced through on goal.

Back came the Addicks though and Marvin Sordell was denied by a last ditch tackle in the box after being teed up but Jordan Cousins.

Then captain Johnnie Jackson whipped in a direct free-kick which keeper Jonathan Bond fielded and then nearly fumbled through his own legs before recovering.

Hamer was then called into action saving a Deeney volley from range, before at the other end Bond pulled off a diving save from a Jackson header. after a superb Chris Solly cross.

When the opener arrived it came from nowhere. Harriott picked up the ball 40 yards out dribbled it towards goal before driving in an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area on 22 minutes.

Deeney then had Hamer at full stretch to turn a shot from range around the post, while from the resultant corner the Addicks were saved by a combination of Hamer, Jackson and the crossbar after a downward header from Essaid Belkalem.

Sean Murray was next to attempt one for the Hornets, causing Hamer to scurry across his goal to reach a long range drive but the ball fell the wrong side of the post.

Charlton looked comfortable until the break and the game was a stalemate until 15 minutes into the second half.

Then Watford were level. A long ball forward was misjudged by Dorian Dervite and Deeney steadied himself before rifling a fantastic drive just under Hamer's crossbar from 20 yards out.

The pressure was now on Charlton and Deeney nearly inflicted further pain on the Addicks but blasted over when free just 12 yards out.

But the red heads didn't drop and, not for the first time, when Charlton needed a lift it was the captain who provided it.

On the break, Morgan Fox whipped in a cross and Jackson's first touch was heavy but he was allowed a second which he prodded past Bond. The Addicks were back in front on 69 minutes.

Nerves slightly put at ease, they were finally relaxed on 77 minutes. A clever free-kick from Cousins released Lawrie Wilson down the right, his cross bounced along the area where Harriott was poised to rifle a ferocious shot into the bottom corner.

Watford should have been thinking about their holidays at this point and perhaps Albert Riera already had plans. The former Liverpool defender kicked a stooping Wilson in the head to earn his second booking and rule him out of the last game of the season.

After long goodbyes were exchanged with Hamer and some of the Charlton defenders, the Spaniard finally made his way down the tunnel with just nine minutes left on the clock.

The remaining minutes were academic as Charlton relaxed for the first time this season but the referee's final whistle still signaled an outpouring of relieved cheers from the home stands.

Charlton: Hamer, Solly (Hughes 90), Morrison, Dervite, Wiggins; Wilson, Cousins, Poet, Jackson, Harriott (Pigott 86); Sordell (Obika 68).
Subs not used: Thuram, Wood, Petrucci, Ajdarevic.

Watford: Bond, Faraoni (Ranegie 15), Doyley (Angella 51), Hoban, Belkalem, Riera; Battocchio, Tozser, Murray; Anya, Deeney (Diakite 76).
Subs not used: Woods, Merkel, Pudil, Jakubiak.

Attendance: 15,815