Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Leeds United 2 v Charlton Athletic 2

On an evening of 32 goals in the Championship, we did our bit by sharing four at Elland Road. Leeds lead twice and we showed yet more character to battle back with two goals from Johan Berg Gudmundsson (JBG). We had to play the last thirteen minutes with ten men after having used all our subs and seeing Rhoys Wiggins limp off.

After the triumphant return of Igor Vetokele on Saturday it was disappointing to see  him on the bench at kick-off and us starting with George Tucuden in the lone advanced striking role. It looked like being a long night and with Calum Harriott starting I couldn't see us scoring. Lawrie was in for the resting Chris Solly. As it was, we matched Leeds through the first-half and edged possession although Leeds were winning on the efforts on goal tally.

Minutes after the restart and we fell behind to a super long range Mowatt goal. That was the trigger for Igor to enter the fray in place of Tucudean and within ten minutes we were level after Wiggins found JBG on the left-hand side of the six yard area and he squeezed a shot in at the near post which Silvestri should have done better with. Charlton looked bouyant at that point but just as we were hoping to take the lead, Mowatt struck again with another edge of the box strike, this time to the other top corner. I thought that was it at that point but the boys hung in and Tal Ben Haim was brought down in the box on 81 minutes as he move in to compete for a header. JBG stepped up to smash a penalty straight down the middle to beat Silvestri. It was then that Rhoys Wiggins was forced off and with debutants Coquelin and Onyewu already on, we had to hang on for the draw.

It's our ninth draw from 16 which is not helping our points total but we clearly continue to fight in almost every game we play and you have to hope there are more wins around the corner. We remain in ninth place and are a win off sixth and two wins off automatic promotion positions. Plenty to play for and looking at some of the other scores this evening, we should be relatively happy. Norwich crashed 4-0 at Bolton and Watford went down 2-1 at Birmingham. Bournemouth, Ipswich and Derby all increased their gap on us and Saturday's opponents Reading warmed up with a 3-0 win over Rotherham. Millwall fought back from two down again to draw at home to Blackburn but they had Wilkinson sent off and assistant manager Marc Bircham sent to the stands. If they carry on like this, they will face another relegation battle.

Bob Peeters must pick our best side on Saturday. Hopefully Wiggins recovers for left-back and Chris Solly should return on the other side. Coquelin might offer us more in the centre with Buyens and I would like to see Wilson on the right and JBG on the left with Vetokele and Aherne-Grant leading the line. I don't fancy it and will be heading down to Bromley for a bit of F A Cup action for the visit of the Darts where I know I won't be the only Addick at Hayes Lane.

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