Saturday 25 April 2009

Unbeaten run ends

Charlton fielded an unchanged side against Derby County at Pride Park today in front of a crowd of 31,541 (the like of which they will not seen again for a while), writes Philippa Nicholson. Chris Solly was on the bench as was Scott Wagstaffe. Rams' 'danger man' Luke Varney featured in their starting eleven, as did charm merchant Robbie Savage.

We had to put with some ludicrous songs on a black-and-white theme before the start of the match, but we were able to see Chris Powell presenting the end of season awards. Neither side dominated the early exchanges.

After ten minutes Shelvey took a shot leading to a Charlton throw in. Burton then tried an overhead effort which was on target but was collected by Bywater in the Derby goal.

Hudson conceded a corner to the home side. A header from Albrechtsen was collected by Elliot in the Charlton goal. Commons tried a shot from distance which went just over the bar near the post.

Varney showed that he was in the game by fouling Youga leading to a free kick 40 yards out, but Shelvey's effort was collected by Bywater and Derby broke. Parkinson was not happy after another foul, this time on Bailey by Connolly, was ignored and the smartly suited supremo let the referee know his views. Bailey was limping when he got up.

A shot by Zheng Zhi was pushed away by Bywater and cleared by Savage. Derby got a free kick 35 yards out after a foul by Racon. The ball from Commons was intercepted by Darren Ward.

Commons got round Hudson, but his effort was well wide. Teale raced down the left, but Hudson blocked. Youga failed to control a ball from Bailey. Elliot must have been trembling in his boots as Varney bore down on him.

Shelvey put in an optimistic ball but it did not trouble Bywater. Nyatanga dealt with an effort from Zheng Zhi. The home crowd was getting restive. Burton threw himself at a ball from Youga, but the Rams were able to clear the danger. Bailey tried an under powered shot from distance and Bywater was able to deal with it. The Addickted started a chant of 'There's only one Nicky Bailey.'

Elliot punched away the ball after a Derby attack. He required some quite lengthy treatment. Racon and Sam were serenaded by the Addickted.

Charlton won a corner to be taken by Shelvey. The ball was cleared by Hulse as the last ten minutes of the half approached. Lloyd Sam counter attacked. There was a foul on Sam by Teale giving Charlton a free kick. Shelvey's free kick went into the arms of Bywater.

Three minutes of time were added on. Lloyd Sam put a ball in and it went out off Connolly, giving Charlton a late corner but an effort by Ward was off target. Derby got a free kick that was taken quickly. It had been a rather uneventful half, but the boos rang out from the home fans.

Half time: Rams 0, Addicks 0

Clough had evidently had a few words at half time and Derby whipped in a ball across the Charlton goalmouth, Elliot got a touch and Derby won a corner. Commons headed the ball goalwards and Elliot put it out for a second corner which was cleared.

The Rams won a third corner but Hulse headed the ball wide. A shot by Bailey was blocked by Connolly. Racon blocked the counter attack, but went down under a challenge from Savage, leading to a Charlton free kick.

Connolly tried a shot from distance and it led to the award of a dubious corner. Derby's effort from the corner was wide. Charlton won a corner which led to a second. A Sam ball in was headed away by Bywater. Shelvey put in a shot which was deflected off a Derby defender, leading to another corner but Hudson's effort went over the crossbar.

Derby counter attacked and appealed for a penalty after Commons went down under a challenge, but Charlton got a free kick instead.

Zheng Zhi tried to find the target, but his ball sailed over the crossbar. Elliot had to turn the ball on the roof of his net, conceding a corner. Elliot punched the ball out and Savage failed to control it.

The home fans were getting a little frustrated at the failure of the three easy points to be secured. Derby made another penalty appeal as they sought to find some way of scoring, but it was waved away. The flag had already gone up for offside.

Bannon ran forward, Commons tried to short, but Ward blocked. The far from sparkling Luke Varney was taken off to derisive cheers from the small band of Addickted to be replaced by Pearson.

Derby won a corner. Youga headed the ball away, but Bannon played it back in and player of the year Hulse bundled the ball in at the near post on 70 minutes. Zheng Zhi was taken off and replaced by Kandol, Shelvey dropping back into midfield.

Youga fed Shelvey but his effort went over the crossbar. Teale tried a shot from distance. Shelvey tried another shot, but again it went over the crossbar. Charlton won a corner, but it was unproductive, Commons broke away using a ball from Bywater but his effort went just wide.

Savage was taken off to be replaced by Eustace on loan from Watford. An effort from Sam went into the side netting. Hudson needed some treatment. Wagstaffe came on for his first league appearance, replacing Darren Ward.

Commons tried to score Derby's second but his effort went just wide. Commons made another attempt from distance. The Australian Sterjovski came on for the Rams. Wagstaffe made an attempt, but it was blocked and the counter attack was stopped by Butterfield.

Three minutes of time were added on as the Rams prepared for their post-match celebrations. Charlton had failed to spoil the party and their unbeaten run had come to an end.

Elsewhere, Leamington ended the season with 101 points after a 5-2 win at Leighton Town.

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