Writer: Rich Towey
Date:Saturday March 5 2011
A brave display from Tranmere earned Les Parry`s side a point at promotion chasing Charlton in a game that saw very few chances for either side.
Enoch Showunmi`s strolled into the Addicks box to put the Whites ahead on 25 minutes, with Miguel Angel Llera drawing level with a free-kick minutes after the break.
In a game of two half`s the home side put Rovers under pressure throughout the second period, but were unable to grab a winner as the game ended all square.
Just the one change was made to the side that lined-up against Exeter in midweek, with Joss Labadie returning from suspension to replace Lateef Elford-Alliyu in a move that saw Andy Robinson push up to right-wing.
The game failed to conjure up any significant events in its first 20 minutes as Tranmere worked hard to prevent the home side from building through possession. The opening minutes were ridden with free-kicks for both sides as the action slowly moved from end to end without any real chances.
There were signs of Rovers showing their class up-front when a neat triangle between Robbie Weir and Robinson saw the right-back find space to cross on the edge of the penalty area. The Sunderland loanee`s eventual attempt was blocked out for a corner which was eventually cleared.
With nothing between the two teams going past the halfway point of the first period, the fashion of Tranmere`s opener was typical of a deadlocked game. Zoumana Bakayogo won the ball with well-timed sliding challenge inside the Addicks half where he picked himself up to race forward with Showunmi. The former Milwall man slipped a ball through to Showunmi who composed himself before slotting past Rob Elliot for the lead on 25 minutes.
More scrappy play restricted Charlton to half-chances, including one from Scott Wagstaff which was fired straight at Tony Warner from a tight angle. Tranmere`s own shots on on goal were also in short supply, with the best coming from John Welsh who forced a decent save out of Elliot from 25-yards out.
The final attack of the half saw Showunmi win a free-kick in a decent position which was curled in by Aaron Cresswell. The left-back crossed for Bakayogo whose header was deflected out for a corner, only for David Coote to blow the whistle before the kick could be taken.
Charlton were forced into making a change at the start of the half with the injured Elliot replaced by Ross Worner in goal. However, seemingly lifted by a half-time team talk, the home side came out rejuvenated and had their equaliser within the first 10 minutes of the restart. Tranmere`s 14th foul of the game saw John Welsh bring down Therry Racon just outside of the penalty area where Llera curled his effort into the bottom left hand corner on 53 minutes.
Charlton continued to dominate after the goal with some promising attacks turning into a string of corners as they enjoyed their best period of the game. Llera had an opportunity to put the hosts ahead with another free-kick from a similar position 10 minutes later, but this time he put his effort over the bar.
Elford-Alliyu eventually took to the field on 75 minutes in place of Robinson, and there were gasps from the away support when Robinson`s glancing header was only just deflected over Worner`s bar, with Labadie heading over from the resulting corner.
Labadie won a free-kick outside of the Charlton box on 80 minutes which looked perfect for Cresswell to hit- the youngster struck it well but put it narrowly over the bar.
Showunmi had the ball in the Charlton net five minutes later, only for his effort to be ruled out for a foul by Elford-Alliyu. But the last set of attacks saw Tranmere holding on as Charlton pushed men forward, but to no avail, as the Whites weathered the storm to leave with a point.
Charlton: Elliot (Worner 45 HT), Francis, Dailly, Llera, Jenkinson, Wagstaff, Semedo, Racon, McCormack (Reid 82), Benson, Wright-Phillips (Eccleston 82). Substitutes not used: Stavrinou, Solly, Fortune, Harriott.
Tranmere: Warner, Weir, Goodison, McChrystal, Cresswell, Welsh, Taylor, Labadie, Robinson (Elford-Alliyu 75), Showunmi, Bakayogo. Substitutes not used: Collister, Kay, Wood, Blanchard, McGurk, Akins.
Referee: David Coote
Yellow cards: Welsh (31), Warner (57), Labadie (62), Semedo (89), McChrystal (90+4)
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Date:Saturday March 5 2011
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