We somehow blew a two goal lead today against Charlton Athletic at The Valley.
The game kicked off in the home side's favour when Conor McAleny flew his way into the box and let a shot fly, only for it to go wide. We replied with two efforts from James Husband, the first being a shot that was deflected by Patrick Bauer, before he collected a pass from Ross McCormack and squaring the ball to Moussa Dembele who saw his shot blocked.
The next chance came by the way of Johann Gudmundsson in the ninth minute. His rising shot from 30 yards launched into the stands. McCormack fouled El-Hadji Ba which led to a free kick which was taken by Gudmundsson. Alou Diarra got a flick on it but it went straight into the path of Andy Lonergan. Jazz Richards replied for us but his effort was slapped away by Nick Pope. McAleny replied for the home side, his effort sailing wide. Jamie O'Hara had a shot too, however his was parried away for an unventful corner. But after that, we scored. McCormack took a 30 yard free kick which was parried by Pope, before Ryan Tunniclife tapped in the rebound. 1-0. Charlton retaliated with a McAleny effort that lacked the power to scare Lonergan and was easily saved, before a nice play by Tony Watt found himself near the box, but his cross missed its target.
After the second half kicked off Tunniclife almost doubled the lead after winning possession in the home side's box, but his straight shot was straight at goal making it an easy save for Pope, before forcing the goalie into action after playing in McCormack, the Scotsman's left footed effort lacking enough power to do any damage. Lasse Vigen Christensen recieved the first card of the game for pulling back on Karlan Ahearne-Grant, before O'Hara shot over while a Gudmundsson cross didn't reach its intended target of Watt for the home side. They did get a chance, however, when Ba was fouled in the box in the 55th minute, but Lonergan managed to keep the shot out, before saving Watt's 20-yard rebound shot just after.
We kept the pressure on though, and Moussa Dembele got a shot in, the young striker's curled effort landing on the net. Then it was 2-0. Tunniclife beat his man before slipping in McCormack, the Scotsman's weak-footed shot finding the back of the net. We made our first change of the game shortly after, bringing on Luke Garbutt to replace Ben Pringle. Christensen found himself in the area before squaring the ball to McCormack, his shot being blocked by Diarra. Gundmundsson found himself booked in the 65th minute for fouling Husband. The home side took this opportunity to make a couple of changes, bringing on Zakarya Bergdich for Morgan Fox and Franck Moussa to replace McAleny.
Two chances could have given us a 3-0 lead, when Christensen's shot was blocked by Diarra, while Garbutt sent the rebound far, far away. Dembele was then taken off to be replaced by Cauley Woodrow, before Charlton bought on Johnnie Jackson to replace Ba. And a good substitution it was. Jackson scored on his first touch; a header from a Gundmundsson corner. The home side packed on the pressure after this, with Jordan Cousins drawing a save from Lonergan following his shot from the edge of the box. In the 88th minute, Watt found space but Richards came in to sweep possession away, before Pope blocked Woodrow's shot. Moussa found his shot for the home side deflected by our own Richard Stearman, before a Woodrow shot was deflected. O'Hara came off to be replaced by Sakari Mattila shortly after.
Charlton really took the game to us at this point. Ahearne-Grant hit the ball over the net from a corner, before a deep cross in the 90+6th minute found its way to Cousins, who sent it past Lonergan for the equalizer. Then it was almost all bad when Watt was one on one with our goalie, before he found his shot blocked by Stearman to end the game.
One point, two goals. What happened?!