Charlton started against Southend tonight with a new 4-3-3 formation, reports Erith Addick Paul May. Pawel Abbott was supported by Reid and Martin on the flanks. McCormack was introduced in midfield against his old club and Fortune replaced Dailly in central defence. Jackson dropped back to left back.
Southend put Charlton under early pressure and there was a touch of panic defending.
Charlton showed their pace as they pressed forward and Reid put in a good cross although he lost his footing on the byline.
The referee gave Southend a free kick on the edge of the box after two players ran into each other. Doherty initially cleared, the ball came back in but Elliot was able to deal with it.
Francis did not deal with a ball well and Fortune had to clear it up. Semedo gave the ball straight to Simpson and Fortune had to clear the danger. Reid evaded Simpson well and his cross was put out for a corner. Jackson's corner was cleared by Simpson. Reid got the ball back but was fouled.
The Addicks kept possession well in the middle of the park with some neat passing movements, Semedo looking impressive. The Shrimpers managed to get in a shot from just outside the penalty area as the Charlton defence went awol, but Elliot was not troubled.
Abbott won the ball well in the air and made an attempt on target. Abbott fed Reid, but he hesitated and his ball was over hit. A cross was blocked by Doherty to give the Shrimpers their first corner. It was taken short and blocked, leading to a second attempt. It was also taken short and led to a third corner kick which was more conventional and was hacked clear. Reid got past the first challenge and was then fouled, but the referee ignored it.
Abbott was not really getting good service and the game became a bit scrappy. Martin was brought down and Charlton got a free kick in a promising position, but it ended in an offside decision. Southend put in a strike on target and once again the Charlton defence was lacking.
McCormack and Jackson combined well, a good shot from Reid took a deflection for a corner. The ball was cleared, but Charlton re-gained possession then the Addicks scored through Racon on 28 minutes with a rocket into the top left hand corner of the net.
Southend conceded another corner as Charlton kept up the pressure. Evans pushed the ball away, but the shot was blocked down. Charlton were playing confidently and kept up the pressure.
Simpson had a good chance for Southend but put the shot into the side netting. Charlton seemed to have lost their rhythm a bit. Martin tried a shot from distance and the deflection produced an Addicks corner.
Grant put in a nasty challenge on Racon who went down with problems with his right ankle, but looked as if he was going to be all right. Two minutes were added on.
Simpson got in a cross but it was blocked by Semedo.
Semedo was casual with the ball, giving Southend a chance, but Grant fired well wide.
Half time: Shrimpers 0, Addicks 1
Dailly came on in place of Doherty at the start of the second half to strengthen the defence. It was raining heavily and the conditions had an effect on the early play.
Reid was pushed from behind by Simpson and won a free kick in front of goal. Martin fired it into the three man wall. Charlton kept possession. Reid's cross was headed clear. A Jackson free kick was headed clear.
Fortune conceded a corner after seven minutes. The ball was cleared from the near post. Grant fed Sturrock and Elliot made a good save. Southend advanced again and made two penalty appeals, but the referee was correct in refusing them. However, it was a concern that Southend were able to get into the Charlton penalty area so easily. Parky had a real go at Fortune and Dailly.
Semedo picked up a yellow card for a tackle from behind after Francis gave the ball away easily. The free kick ended in an offside decision. So far in the half there had been little for the 1,176 Addicks in a crowd of 3,197.
Francis played another poor ball. Reid advanced well, but his strike was not the best and went into the Addickted. Grant was caught by Semedo in a late challenge. He was called over by referee Grant Hegley who sent the Portugeezer off in the first game of the season against Bournemouth.
Southend had an opportunity but it went into the side netting. Very sensibly, Parky brought on Waggy in place of Semedo. Martin moved into midfield. Southend took Sturrock and brought on their QPR loan player who had been held up in traffic.
Fortune put in a great tackle. Evans had to clear toilet rolls from around the Southend goal. Racon conceded an unnecessary free kick. Southend put in awkward ball, but Wagstaff was there to help. The rain had stopped.
An effort by Reid led to Charlton's first corner of the half which led to a second. The ball was played back in and Evans in the Southend goal punched the ball clear. It almost fell to Martin. A curling free kick by Jackson was headed clear. A Southend counter attack broke down.
Wagstaff advanced and won a corner. Charlton were coming back into the game more. Wagstaff was cynically fouled by Gilbert. Southend made their final substitution. The Shrimpers won a corner. It was punched away by Elliot who was flapping a little.
McCormack was caught by a late tackle giving Charlton a free kick in a promising position with four minutes to go. Jackson's effort was real quality and it was tipped over the bar by Evans for a Charlton corner. McCormack's strike went wide and the ball had to be retrieved from the Addickted.
Wagstaff advanced but his shot was poor. Southend pressed forward in the last minute as four minutes were added on. Dailly cleared at the near post for a corner kick. There was a possible Charlton hand ball which would have produced a penalty, but the corner was poor and went into the side netting.
Fry, who had come on for Reid, tried to find Martin. Charlton gave the ball away to put themselves under pressure. Jackson defended well as the game went into the fifth minute of stoppage time. The Addicks won a goal kick. Charlton had won the regional quarter-final.