Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Leeds United 1 v Charlton Athletic 1

The battle for points continued this evening with a well deserved point from Elland Road although we were unlucky not to have won it.

A far stronger performance as Chris Powell made a number of personnel and tactical changes. Cedric Evina finally came into the side at left-back which allowed Chris Solly to resume his rightful place on the other side. That allowed Powell to push Lawrie Wilson up onto the right flank to provide a probe to challenge Kerkar's on the left.

It was a five man midfield with further surprises as neither Stephens or Hollands started for the first time since they were joined at the club. Instead, Johnnie Jackson and Bradley Pritchard were joined for his full debut by Dorian Dervite who was presumably playing as the disrupter in front of the back four. Stephens failed a late fitness test which, I believe, allowed Pritchard into the team. In the absence of Ricardo Fuller, Rob Hulse got the job of lone combative striker.

We dominated possession in the first half but fell behind in the 36th minute after Cort was pushed to allow the ball to fall for Norris to fire home. Cort himself had headed wide earlier, Jackson missed a glorious chance within a minute of the Leeds goal and Hulse struck the woodwork before the whistle.

Four minutes after the restart and with Addicks bemoaning their luck again, Dorian Dervite arrived in the box, met a ball from Lawrie Wilson and he swept home an unlikely looking shot which beat Paddy Kenny into the far corner. There can't have been that many Reds up there but it sounded like plenty as they celebrated and broke into "Valley Floyd Road!" One who was there was Rob Elliott, who was down from Newcastle to join the lads in the away section - you can take the boy out of Charlton....

Leeds tried to take the momentum after our equaliser but Charlton stood up to them and Lawrie Wilson broke away again down the the right and picked out Salim Kerkar with his cut-back but Kerkar shot wide. 

Luke Varney was subbed in the second-half as Leeds tried to change things and the next Leeds substitution saw ex-Addict Andy Gray lumber into the fray. Paddy Kenny was taking any deep free-kicks as things as Leeds tried to apply the pressure but our players played like they had something to prove and something defend which they had fought very hard for. 

With ten minutes to go we caused panic in the Leeds defence as Hulse, Pritchard and Wilson combined before Chris Solly's drive was deflected for a corner. The commentary was annoyingly interrupted in the last ten minutes to bring us Perkins' equaliser for Barnsley against Palace whose side had travelled in the knowledge that Dougie Freedman had signed to move on to bigger and better things in the metropolis of Bolton (no contest really).

Time yet for Salim Kerkar to screw a shot wide from six yards before Bradley Wright-Phillips came on for Rob Hulse. Vile animals that they are, of course, the Elland Road faithful gave old boy Rob Hulse a very generous round of applause as he left the field. 

At the death Paddy Kenny made a point-blank save from BWP after Wilson had fed Pritchard as the Addicks carved another lump out of the Leeds defence. If that wasn't enough, Pritchard broke again and with four Reds streaking forward with him he picked out Wright-Phillips once more and his rocket shot was tipped over the bar by that man Kenny again.

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