Charlton beat Birmingham 1-0 for the first time since 2005/6 in a determined performance this afternoon. 7 hours 27 minutes without conceding. Charlton are 17th, one place above Millwall.
As the Charlton team came on to the pitch, the 855 Addickted in a crowd of 14.070 burst into a chorus of Valley Floyd Road at St. Andrews this afternoon. It was a cold and windy day. Johnnie Jackson was in the starting line up and Dorian Dervitte replaced the injured Richard Wood. It was a 4-5-1 line up with Church on his own up front. Lennon was on the bench.
Stewart floated an early ball in, but Jackson’s header was saved by former Addick Randolph in the Birmingham goal. Wilson defended well as Gray threatened at the expense of a corner. Hamer collected from the corner. Dervitte cut out a cross from Novak.
Jackson took a corner for Charlton, but Randolph was able to claim the ball. A rather dubious corner was given to Birmingham. Burn put the ball in the net, but there was a push on Hamer and it was disallowed.
Charlton won a free kick right on the edge of the area after Pritchard was brought down. Unfortunately, Jackson’s free kick went over the top.
Jackson put in a good ball, but Church needed to hit it first time and he was dispossessed. Cousins put in a great tackle on Burke. Church gave the ball to Jackson who hit with his left foot but it went wide. Chris Powell was urging his players up the pitch as they were defending too deep. However, they were creating more than Birmingham.
Hamer had to make a great save diving to his right from Novak. Two minutes were added on. Michael Morrison made a good stop.
Neither side had been able to keep possession for any length of time, but Dale Stephens had been creative.
Half time: Blues 0, Addicks 0
Jordan Cousins headed a Birmingham free kick clear. Novak went down far too easily for a free kick. Church tried to break away, but didn’t have the pace to get away from the defender. Simon Church was clattered and had problems with his right ankle. After great work by Stewart, Randolph parried his shot, the ball was bouncing around in the box and Dale Stephens scored from close range to make it 0-1.
Adeyemi shot but it was blocked on the line by Morrison. The Blues made a double substitution with the youthful Gray replaced by Ferguson and Novak replaced by Levenkrands. Simon Church seemed to have recovered.
Wilson was brought down on the edge of the box but nothing was given. An effort by Stephens went over the bar. Church was fouled right in front of the referee’s assistant, but nothing was given.
Wiggins, back to his best, defended well. Church won Charlton a corner which was headed clear. In the final minute of normal time, Birmingham had a chance but Levenkrands put the ball over.
Jackson was taken off to warm applause from the Addickted and replaced by Cook. Three minutes were added on. Jordan Cousins cleared the ball. Morrison headed the ball clear. Hamer was brave and dealt well with the threat.