Two games in 5 days can be stressful. For us it was anyway, as we ended up coming out of The Valley with just a single point (fair enough, it's better than losing - I think) yesterday night after drawing Charlton, 1-1.
Early chances from Ryan Tunniclife and James Husband could have got us an even earlier lead, with Tunniclife flopping a cross to Sean Kavanagh, while Husband's low cross was caught by Charlton goalie Stephen Henderson. Ross McCormack made it 1-0 in the 8th minute (woo!), when Michael Turner shot a long pass, which Matt Smith managed to connect to the Scotsman, whose header went straight over Henderson and tucked in nicely under the bar. McCormack had another shot blocked, assisted by Danny Guthrie, five minutes later. The corner which followed was only slightly cleared, and a cross back into the box was won by Smith, which gave Hoogland a chance on goal, which then was saved by Henderson, making a pretty good save.
And then somehow Charlton managed to equalise in the 16th minute. An attack from the home side was cleared out by Dan Burn, but then Morgan Fox managed to cross back to Jóhann Gudmundsson, who found himself unmarked at the back post. 1-1. Two minutes later, a Gudmundsson corner was sent toward goal, with Kavanagh having to use goal-line reflexed to divert it off the line. Gudmundsson again almost made it 2-1 in the 27th minute, finding himself unmarked at the back post (again!), but luckily his shot went straight into the side netting, assisted by a cross from Igor Vetokele. A bad clearance from Henderson in the 35th minute meant that Scott Parker could pass along to Smith, who kept the ball under control using his chest on the edge of the box, before his left footed volley shot just four yards wide. McCormack had a nice attempt on goal from a free kick, which Henderson had to make a two handed save to catch before the first half ended.
We almost managed to take the lead in the opening momnts of the second half. Smith started causing problems in the Charlton half before McCormack shot the ball toward goal, where had to be cleared off the goal line by Joe Gomez. Husband got a hold of the loose ball, sending a cross back into the box where Smith headed toward goal, the ball making its way into Henderson's hands. Dan Burn was booked in the 57th minute for a challenge on Gomez, and Tony Watt missed a good chance, after winning the ball back from Danny Guthrie and being tackled by Turner, shooting his effort just wide. He also shot just wide of the near post just moments after. Gudmundsson decided to try his luck, shooting from 25 yeards out, but his effort met the hands of Marcus Bettinelli. Kit Symons decided to bring Bryan Ruiz and Alexander Kaĉaniklić to replace Kavanagh and a tired Guthrie. And it almost led us to a goal! Ruiz passed down to Smith in the box, who then teed the ball to McCormack, his curled shot from 20 yards out tipped just round the post by Henderson. Scott Parker was booed by Charlton fans (shouldn't have left Charlton 11 years ago!) and shown a yellow card in the 70th minute for a bad foul on Watt.
We almost made it two in the 77th minute, when Smith held the ball for Ruiz, whose first-time shot fizzed just inches wide. An attack from the Cottagers broke down and Charlton had a chance, this time from Watt. Gudmunsson square the ball to him, who then forced Bettinelli to scramble the shot out for a corner. The game started to open up in the closing stages. Ruiz spotted McCormack making a run and crossed the ball towards him. The Scot missed but Henderson had to move to push the ball clear of the net. Smith almost made it 2-1 again when he caught onto a loose ball, but his shot went way too high. In injury time, Kaĉaniklić managed to win a free kick just outside the box, which McCormack sent just wide as the game finished. A well earned point to keep us out of the relegation zone.
Our next game is at home against Wigan, who we face on Friday. Come on Fulham!