Charlton 3 Derby 2: Peeters' men turn on the style

By Rob Virtue on August 19, 2014 9:53 PM |

charlton badge new.jpg

It's too early to draw any conclusions about this new look Charlton side but the signs so far certainly aren't bad.

For a team tipped almost universally outside south-east London to struggle they'd already seen off Wigan at The Valley before Derby came to town on Tuesday night.

Steve McClaren's men are much fancied in this division and for good reason. Known for their free-flowing attacking football they were deeply unlucky not to get promoted last season.

But the Addicks were to spring a surprise thanks to their own threat in the final third.

After enjoying almost total possession in the opening three minutes the hosts got their first shot on goal which Lee Grant saved comfortably saved from the lively Johan Gudmundsson.

It was confident stuff from Charlton and soon enough they were in front. Gudmundsson turned neatly in the centre of the pitch before spreading the ball wide to Jordan Cousins.

The young midfielder played in a low centre to George Tucudean and the Romanian turned and shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards out, just 10 minutes into the match.

Derby responded quickly but Chris Martin failed to control a cross when well placed and Jeff Hendrick side-footed a weak shot into the arms of Charlton keeper Nick Pope.

But the Addicks were containing a Derby side heavily tipped for promotion following last season's play off final heartbreak.

There wasn't much in the way of goalmouth action with both sides restricted to harmless long range efforts.

That was until the half hour mark when Derby showed what they were capable of.

First Pope did well to palm away a stinger from Martin but when the ball was played back in the box, the Charlton keeper had no chance of stopping Jamie Ward's superb strike into the top corner.

Derby were in the ascendancy and it was a great tackle by Talal Ben Haim when Martin was shaping to shoot that ensured the Addicks remained level.

The hosts were then caught out by a short corner which needed Pope to save well from a Craig Bryson piledriver. The Rams were now camped in the Charlton half.

Rhoys Wiggins then blocked well from Hendrick. There were gaps appearing all over the Charlton defence and it looked to be Bob Peeters' side who would be more relieved to hear the half-time whistle.

But then disaster struck for the Rams.

In first-half injury time, Tucudean slipped through the Derby defence and, as he set up to shoot, was tripped in the box from behind by captain Richard Keogh, making his 100th appearance for the visitors.

After a momentary hesitation from referee Michael Bull, a penalty was given and Yoni Buyens confidently converted from the spot.

Changes at the break saw Tucudean replaced by Franck Moussa, with the first-half scorer seemingly injured.

And Moussa's first action saw him snatch at a cross by Johnnie Jackson when strike partner Igot Vetokele was much better placed.

The Addicks then broke through on the counter but Grant parried away Vetokele's left-footed drive from the edge of the box.

Charlton were now harrying Derby who, missing midfield lynchpin Will Hughes who also came off at the break, were starting to panic.

The threat was always apparent though and a reminder came when Bryson found space only for his shot to be deflected wide.

Then Derby centre-back Keogh caught one on the edge of the box but the ball flew over the bar.

At the other end Johnnie Jackson shot just over from a free-kick.

Derby boss McClaren then made his last throw of the dice with Leon Best added to the strike line but with just 12 minutes left the Addicks struck again. Jackson picked the ball up by the corner flag, and his inswinging cross was met at the near post by Lawrie Wilson who flicked on a header for Vetokele to nod home the third.

The striker then had an opportunity to add to his tally but could only chip the ball into the arms of Grant with the goal at his mercy.

Charlton were looking assured but Derby struck back. Ward's shot looked harmless but Pope misjudged it and the ball slipped through his hands and into the net on 85 minutes.

It harsh on the young keeper making his first start for the Addicks but it woudln't prove too costly for his side.

The home fans were on the edge of their seat moments later when Vetokele raced through on goal but the Angola internatinal slipped at the vital moment.

At the other end Bryson dragged a shot across goal but that was all Derby offered in the closing stages and the Addicks held on for the three points.

Charlton: Pope; Gomez, Bikey, Ben Haim, Wiggins; Gudmundsson (Fox 89\0, Buyens, Jackson, Cousins (Wilson 65); Vetokele, Tucudean (Moussa 45). Subs not used: Phillips, Morrison, Harriott, Church.

Derby: Grant; Christie, Keogh, Buxton, Fosyth; Hendrick (Best 77), Bryson, Hughes (Mascarell 45), Dawkins (Russell 68); Ward, Martin. Subs not used: Roos, Naylor, Eustace, Whitbread.