Neither side dominated in the early exchanges, reports Paul May from a chilly Victoria Road, although Abbott could have made more of a good ball from Francis. There were too many long balls from both sides as the wind picked up a little. Francis put a decent ball in, but the keeper Scott Flinders coped well.
Hartlepool put in a decent attack, but in the end McCormack claimed the ball for Charlton. The home side won a free kick on the edge of the Charlton penalty area which they tried to take quickly. The ball came off the bar and was then scrambled in by Monkhouse to give Hartlepool the lead on 13 minutes. Once again Charlton showed themselves to be vulnerable at set pieces.
Francis did not distinguish himself in the face of a Hartlepool attack. A clumsy challenge by Fry right on the edge of the penalty area conceded another free kick. This time it was well saved by Elliot. Charlton had a chance, but Jackson drove the ball over the bar from 15 yards out.
The rain started to come down. Charlton kept losing possession. Collins deprived Eccleston as he advanced. Hartlepool threatened again, but Elliot was able to make the save. Doherty tackled well to deal with an attack. Bradley Wright-Phillips went down.
Chris Powell looked frustrated at the standard of Charlton’s play. As half time approached, Sweeney put a shot in, Elliot parried it out and the second effort went inches wide. Hartlepool had worked hard, but it was a poor performance by Charlton. Wright-Phillips advanced to win the first corner of the game. McCormack’s corner led to a throw in. Charlton got a free kick 30 yards out after Wright-Phillips was fouled. The free kick went out for a goal kick with no one making the back post run.
Half time: Hartlepool 1, Addicks 0
Good patient build up play by Charlton led to a strike from Wright-Phillips. Hartlepool broke, Charlton cleared, but the home side came back. Francis fell into the dugout and needed treatment. He came back on, but was holding his lower back and then his knee. He was replaced by Carl Jenkinson.
Nine minutes into the half, a good diagonal ball was put into Abbott who advanced and Eccleston put the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-1. A cross came in from Hartlepool, but it was put just pass the post.
Hartlepool applied some more pressure on the left. There was a call for a corner, but Charlton got a free kick. Hartlepool won a corner off Fry. They got a free header on the back post and Liddle put it in the back of the net to make it 2-1 on 62 minutes. Once again Charlton fell to a set piece.
McCormack was taken off in favour of Reid. Dailly defended well. Fry tackled Sweeney well. A free kick taken by Reid was unproductive. Hartlepool won a free kick off Dailly in a dangerous position. Elliot was able to claim but Collins clattered into him to stop him releasing the ball early. Collins received a yellow card.
Charlton applied some pressure but Flinders was able to save. The Addicks won a free kick in a promising position. It led to a corner taken by Reid, but Hartlepool eventually broke. Jenkinson went in with both feet with a challenge and was given a yellow card. It could have been red.
Five minutes were added on. A free kick from Reid led to a Charlton corner. Reid took it and it went into the side netting.
Chris Powell’s winning run came to an end in front of 167 dedicated Addicks.