Brighton 2 Charlton 2: Last-gasp equaliser denies Addicks

By Rob Virtue on August 30, 2014 5:49 PM |

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Last April, a Charlton team which was to scrape to safety in the Championship were taken apart by play-off bound Brighton 3-0 at the Amex Stadium.

This Charlton side, despite again being under the cosh for large periods of the game, are made of sterner stuff.

Two goals from summer signing from FC Copenhagen, Igor Vetokele, nearly gave the Addicks their third win in five this season - and from a tough fixture list which had many in south-east London rightly worried.

However, Brighton were able to snatch a draw at the death in what was probably a fair result, all things considered,

Brighton, despite a lack of firepower up-front - alleviated slightly by the signing from Bristol City of Sam Baldock, who made an almost anonymous 12 minute cameo in this game - are one of the Championship's more accomplished teams.

But as Wigan and Derby have already found out to their cost, don't underestimate Charlton.

It took just four minutes for the visitors to take the lead.

As the Addicks broke forward for the first time, with Vetokele running at the defence, his attempted throughball to George Tucudean was poor but it bounced back to the Angloan internationl who steadied himself before firing low past David Stockdale for his fourth league goal of the season.

Moments later Joao Teixeira caught Tal Ben Haim in possession but Stephen Henderson closed down the Liverpool loanee before turning his shot around the post for a corner.

Brighton were looking dangerous on the attack and Bruno Saltor should have done better when the ball fell to him in the box in space, but he ballooned his shot over the bar.

The hosts' neat passing game was causing Charlton concern but the Addicks defence were proving hard to break down.

Brighton's dominance continued and with just six minutes of the half remaining Adrian Colunga somehow fired over from just outside the six yard box following a corner.

In first-half injury time Tucudean crashed a volley into the side-netting.

Within second of the restart Joe Bennett headed down for Craig Mackail-Smith but the striker's shot on the turn went just wide of the post.

Next Bennett broke through on the left and his drive flew into the side-netting.

But Brighton were becoming increasingly frustrated in the final third, with long balls, easily plucked out of the sky by Ben Haim and Andre Bikey, were becoming more regular.

But on 67 minutes the Seagulls were level. Bikey's tackle on Teixeira gave the hosts a corner. Danny Holla's outswinger was met by Lewis Dunk who rose at the near post to direct a bullet header into the top corner.

Charlton were on the rack now and Henderson did well to save Kazenga LuaLua's low shot.

Then Bikey was caught in possession by Teixeira but his cross was well cut out by Ben Haim.

It looked as if the game was going just one way. But Bob Peeters is building a team of some character and on 75 minutes, completely out of the blue, they were back in front.

Simon Church worked his way past two Brighton defenders on the right-hand side. He crossed low to Vetokele who turned inside before blasted the ball past Stockdale and in off the near-post.

Brighton look disheartened and with just five minutes left Ben Haim nearly made the game safe but headed wide from a Johnnie Jackson corner.

But the Seagulls were on a four-match winning run and determined not to end it with a defeat.

Four minutes of injury-time saw Brighton pour forward and then the goal came. The Addicks couldn't clear a corner and LuaLua's cross found Dunk in space in front of goal. The big centre-back made no mistake again nodding home the equaliser.

It was cruel on the Addicks but they should take heart by going into the international break unbeaten.

Brighton: Stockdale, Saltor, Greer, Dunk, Bennett; Colunga, Crofts (Gardner 45), Holla, Forster-Caskey (Baldock 78); Teixeira, Mackail-Smith (LuaLua 62).
Subs not used: Ankergren, Hughes, Calderon, Ince.

Charlton: Henderson, Solly, Bikey, Ben Haim, Wiggins; Gudmundsson (Fox 80), Buyens, Jackson, Cousins (Wilson 62); Vetokele, Tucudean (Church 45).
Subs not used: Pope, Morrison, Moussa, Harriott.

Attendance:26,189