As expected, Charlton have put out an unchanged side from the one that beat Wycombe Wanderers last Saturday reports Paul May from the Victoria Ground. All injuries seemed to have cleared up or at least are not serious enough to prevent players taking part in what is expected to be a highly competitive match. A decent contingent of the Addickted (505 in total out of an attendance of 4,408) is present at the Victoria Ground, although not nearly as many as expected at the across town match at Orient next week.
Elliot had to make an early save from a good strike from a free kick at the expense of a corner. Llera put a poor ball forward which led Shelvey to stretch his arms wide as the ball went out for a goal kick. Sam put a decent ball into the box. After a series of throw ins, Shelvey put a good ball into the box, but it was cleared. Charlton were starting to improve their hold on the game. Llera put in a good tackle.
Burton tried to get the shot in, it deflected and came into Bailey's path, but he took a swing at it and his effort went well wide. Burton flicked the ball to Bailey, he played it into the path of Shelvey, but he was over stretching and the ball went a few yards wide of the post.
Hartlepool won a free kick, but it was headed clear. Sam advanced well. The build up was slow and Charlton won yet another throw in. Burton fed Youga, but his efforts were blocked and the home side broke, leading to a Llera foul. The referee warned the Spainard.
Burton was holding the ball up well again, but lacked support. The referee awarded a corner kick to Hartlepool although the ball seemed to have stayed in play. The shot went over the top but the referee awarded a free kick to Charlton anyway and then had a word with Richardson.
Flinders in the Hartlepool goal put in a good long ball and the home side had a possible scoring chance, but the ball went across the front of goal.
After a terrible short header by a Hartlepool defender, Burton saw his chance and pounced to lift the ball over the keeper who was off his line. 1-0 to the Londoners.
Sam played to the ball to the back post, there was an unmarked Nicky Bailey who put in a diving header to make it 2-0. For Charlton, two is not enough, and the task was to build on the lead to make it safe. The Addickted broke into a chorus of 'the finest team the world has ever seen'.
Sweeney was held back by Youga. He could have been booked, but no card was awarded.
The free kick was 10 yards from the corner flag, but it was easily headed clear and Charlton won a throw in.
Llera cleared well from a Hartlepool free kick near the halfway line. The home side kept possession, but Youga intervened well, then it was Shelvey who won the ball. Hartlepool got it back, but their effort was poor and Charlton won a throw in.
Charlton won a corner off a free kick taken by Dailly. Shelvey put in a decent ball, but Hartlepool were able to clear.
Hartlepool defended frantically as Charlton produced renewed pressure. Bailey was caught offside.
Youga twice tried to go forward, but without success. Charlton won a throw in, a decision not liked by some of the Hartlepool players who got a word from the referee.
Youga put in a clattering challenge from behind and was rightly booked. From the free kick Hartlepool put in a shot that went just over the bar although Elliot had it covered.
Youga played a terrible ball and he was dispossessed as Semedo tried to get back. Llera was able to provide cover. The fourth official, in association with the local opticians, announced a minute added on.
Half time: Hartlepool 0, Addicks 2
A complete idiot from Radio Hartlepool's breakfast show was the half time entertainment.
Charlton won an early corner, but it was unproductive. The Addicks won a free kick for a foul on Semedo halfway inside the Hartlepool half. Shelvey's free kick did not quite drop for the unmarked Burton.
Burton was fouled and Sweeney received a yellow card. Hartlepool put in a shot, Charlton broke, Burton would have been one on one with the keeper, but the offside flag was raised.
Youga fed Shelvey but his effort was deflected wide. Flinders went beserk with his defenders. Shelvey's corner was cleared. Yet another ball went out of the ground.
Sam advanced down the right, Bailey laid the ball back to Racon, but he couldn't quite the touch he wanted and it was put behind. The corner was punched clear.
The home side won a corner, but it went straight out. Charlton won a free kick as the advancing Youga was fouled. Shelvey's free kick was easily taken by Flinders.
Although Charlton were still in command, the match went through a quiet phase, matched by the silence of the home fans. Hartlepool decided to change things round, Boyd being taken off and fans' favourite James Brown came on.
Racon was pulled back although he was not threatening and Frederiksen received a booking. Sam posed problems on the right, but Racon lost possession. Llera had to rush back to clear the danger.
Semedo put in a challenge, attracting shouts of 'Off!' from the frustrated home support. The boot was high, but a yelllow card was the right call. Dailly gave away a free kick in a potentially dangerous position some 20 yards out. The shot was a good one but Elliot parried it away. Collins threw the ball into the penalty area. Hartlepool continued to apply pressure, but Charlton got the ball back through good work by Racon.
Elliot had to make a brilliant save from Tony Sweeney. Frederiksen put in a shot from the corner but it came off Bailey for a throw in. Elliot was able to catch a header. Perhaps this was a needed wake up call for Charlton. Would Parky change things around?
Frederiksen got away and put in a shot but it went wide of goal. Llera cut out a ball from Brown well. Youga forged down the left again, but the ball had to be played back to keep possession.
Hartlepool were starting to have a few efforts on goal. Frederiksen and Shelvey had an argument off the ball. Hartlepool went for a double substitution. The lively but carded Frederiksen was taken off, followed by Hartley.
Hartlepool put in a shot, but it was well wide. Parky needed to make a substitution to freshen things up. Charlton were being competent, but not dominant. Llera booted the ball out of play for safety first with nine minutes of normal time left.
The referee told Elliot off and indicated that he was adding time on for time wasting. The local support started to take it out on the referee. Sweeney put in a header which was misdirected and went over the bar.
Sam and Richardson combined well, but it was too close to Flinders. Burton took his time and won nothing more than a throw in. The home fans started to leave in search of avocado mousse.
Llera went down and received treatment to the annoyance of the home fans. It did not look as if he could continue. The fourth officials sponsored by the local opticians announced three minutes of added on. Solly replaced Llera who left slowly. Gray replaced Shelvey who had been excellent throughout the match and was awarded a Silver Biscuit.
An effort by Hartlepool went straight at Elliot. The active Tony Sweeney was named as man of the match. The match ended with the monkeys song.
We weren't as good in the second half as in the second. Hartlepool didn't live up to their advance billing. It's a long journey back to Erith, but it was the result I wanted.