Saturday, 21 November 2015

Charlton move out of relegation positions

Charlton moved out of the relegation positions to 20th after a 1-0 victory at promotion chasing Birmingham City today. Johnnie Jackson's 50th goal for the club gave them their first away win of the season. (Matt Wright, who should know, has tweeted that it is only his 49th. Amazingly, the last player to get 50 goals was Carl Leaburn).

The hosts began brightly and within two minutes Jacques Maghoma had tested Henderson after swivelling cleverly inside the area. Toral then flashed an effort over the bar, while Charlton debutant Ademola Lookman hit a shot into the side netting at the other end.

Birmingham cranked up the pressure as the first half wore on, with Demarai Gray and David Davis going close. Henderson then denied Toral with a low save before rushing out to prevent Nicolai Brock-Madsen from giving Birmingham the lead at the break.

Birmingham began the second half as they ended the first, with Gray, Stephen Gleeson and Maghoma all going close. However, Charlton went ahead in the 61st minute when the skipper sent a thumping header beyond Tomasz Kuszczak from Tareiq Holmes-Dennis's cross. It was Lookman who created the breakthrough for Charlton with an astute pass to Holmes-Dennis, whose first-time cross was met by the on-rushing Jackson to head home.

Simon Makienok then headed over the bar from Johann Berg Gudmundsson's cross before Holmes-Dennis's cross-cum-shot was dealt with as Charlton threatened to add a second. Birmingham threw men forward in the dying stages, but Charlton held firm as they recorded back-to-back league victories for the first time this season.

It was very much a case of grinding out a result, but a welcome and generally unexpected three points. It does look as if the team may be regaining their all important confidence.

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