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Charlton Athletic 2014

The 1st Football Aid fixture at the Valley since 2010 was a closely fought game that saw some wonderful offensive and defensive performances. There were only 2 goals in the 1st half despite the post being hit an unbelievable 5 times, however, it was the tight defences and quality saves from stand-in keeper Tom Markham that kept the Home team out. In the 2nd half it was a different story. The post was still used on several occasions to keep the score down but the Home team showed their opposition up with some outstanding performances up front that gave them the win that their tenacity deserved. Overall, the game was very even but a stereotypical game of two halves ended with the Away team coming out on the wrong end of the result.

Date: Tuesday 13th May 2014
Venue: The Valley
Charlton Athletic (Home) vs Charlton Athletic (Away)
Kick-Off: 9:30am
Match officials: Wally James, Ken Salter, Vincent Caron and Ioana Muzuran


It was the Away team who got our Charlton game underway at The Valley wearing the White and Black Away strips and kicking from right to left. Straight out of the blocks were the Home team who had the 1st chance of the game. Centre forward Nick Pitt pounced on a short pass back and took a cross-goal shot but it narrowly missed the far post.

Unfortunately, the quality of the Valley pitch let down the Home team from a corner after 7 mins. The cross was played in low towards the near post and was never going to clear the 1st man, which was Home full back Jose Estanqueiro. The ball bobbled up off the pitch and the No 2’s hopeful swing at the ball ended with it curving away from him, over everyone, and into the far corner of the goal (0-1).

After their goal, the Away team continued the pressure on the Home goalie Roberto Modena, but the Italian stopper was able to match their efforts. First, was a near post shot that the No 1 palmed round the post and them moments later there was an effort from the edge of the box taken by No 10 Joe Venes. Again, though, the keeper got down well, low to the left-hand post to push it wide.

With 14 mins played the Away side created their best chance since the opener as they struck the crossbar. Centre forward Barrie Knowles played the ball in from the left wing to his strike partner Matthew Weaver just inside the box. Weaver did a nice fake move, losing his defender before releasing a chipped effort that rebounded off the woodwork.

Straight down the other end, it was the Home team’s turn to test the woodwork’s durability. Winger John-Paul Williams played a nice small pass into the feet of centre mid Neale Hargreaves and the No 6 turned, taking one touch before striking the ball low towards the left corner but his effort struck the foot of the post. Williams followed up the shot, but stand in keeper Tom Markham made a fine save after scrambling back to his feet to keep the Home side out.

The gods must have been looking down on the game as the Home side were denied a goal by the post again. Forward Roberto Estanqueiro played in winger John-Paul Williams at the edge of the box. The No 7 hit a right footed shot across the goal which hit the foot of the same post and rebounded back into the hands of goalie Markham.

Yet again, the Away team were on the attack and incredibly they struck the post for the 4th time in the game. No 10 Joe Venes made a solo run from the centre of the park without being challenged before striking a beautiful effort from 20 yards that flew by rooted goalie Modena but struck the inside of the left post.

Moments later the watching fans must have wondered if the game was going to end with more than one goal as the Home side - of course - hit the post for the 5th time in as many mins. A poor clearance was headed back towards goal into the feet of centre forward Nick Pitt. The No 11 took it past the first man before hitting a high, looping shot but it struck the underside of the bar and bounced back out.

Despite being repeatedly denied by the woodwork, the Away team pushed for a 2nd and it needed a wonder-strike from centre mid Joe Venes to get it right on the stroke of half-time. The No 10 picked the ball up in the centre of the pitch with 44mins on the clock and was again allowed to run freely towards goal, he then sidestepped centre half Mark Feehan before firing a bullet of a shot into the top right corner (0-2).

Soon after the 2nd goal the referee brought the half to an end. A two-goal half that could have seen as many as 7 goals scored certainly hadn’t failed to disappoint those watching. The defensive performances of both sides meant they deserved the post saving them on so many occasions. Certainly, the back pairing of Alex Rollo and Raffaele Griffo for the Away team, along with goalie Markham showed how defending should be done. The play was very much even with everything still in the balance as the players headed into the dressing rooms.

Half Time: Charlton Athletic (Home) 0 - 2 Charlton Athletic (Away)

The Charlton Home team got the game back underway, knowing that they had to chase it to get back into the match. They did this but were initially denied on several occasions by stand-in keeper Campbell. No 10 Christopher Thornton cut in from the left wing and fired a low, curling effort but Campbell managed to get down well to his right and push it round the post.

However their efforts were rewarded a couple of mins later after several shots on target were saved. The first poor clearance by the Away team fell straight to predatory striker Nick Pitt who collected it 25 yards from goal before curling a sublime shot into the top right corner of the goal (1-2).

Again, the Home team pressed the Away defence and the substitute Valerio Spinella got his team level after 57 mins. A minute earlier the jinky winger had curled an effort just wide; however, the No 7 pinched the ball in the box just after, took the ball to the by-line before curling a fantastic low shot into the far corner (2-2).

The Away defence started to crumble under the Away team's constant pressure and they were undone by an outrageous dribble from winger John-Paul Williams on 60mins. Williams picked up the ball inside the box and dribbled his way through two defenders and a crowded box. He then found himself in front of goalie Markham and poked the ball through the No 1’s legs to complete a brilliant solo goal (3-2).

With 20 mins gone in the 2nd half the Home team kept pushing forward to find another goal. Winger John-Paul Williams whipped in a low ball across the box from the right side, which wasn't held by sub goalie Markham, however the follow up from centre half Marco Isidori failed to squeeze in at the near post. 

The play passed from end-to-end as the Away team tried to turn the tide and score an equalising goal. A corner was whipped in from the right side and bounced all the way through to centre forward Matthew Weaver who was waiting at the back post. The No 9’s header, however, looped up and into the hands of goalie Roberto Modena much to the striker’s disappointment.

With 5 mins left to play the Away side had their best opportunity to pull the game level. Centre mid Joe Venes made a run down the left wing before playing a cut back that looked for No 9 Matthew Weaver. The centre forward would’ve happily swept the ball home had it not been for a miraculous last-ditch tackle from goal-scorer Valerio Spinella.

However there was more drama to come right at the end of the game as the Home No 9 Roberto Estanqueiro rifled a volley from the edge of the box that struck the left post having left goalie Markham rooted to the spot. Shortly after though, the Home team had their 4th goal of the afternoon thanks to some great team play between forwards Estanqueiro and Nick Pitt. With the clock on 88mins Pitt played the ball out to the right where Estanqueiro was making a run and the No 9 made a low return ball to his partner that Pitt swept up and over Markham’s head and into the back of the net (4-2).

This was the last meaningful play of the game and the referee's whistle ended what was a thrilling affair shortly afterwards. There were chances galore for both teams throughout and if it wasn’t for both keepers and their defences, and the woodwork's help on occasion, it could even have been double digits scores for both sides! At the end of the first 45 mins it appeared the Away side would go on to win the match comfortably as they had their 2 goal lead to show for their efforts; however, after the break the Home team upped the quality in their finishing, with some superb solo goals from John-Paul Williams and Valerio Spinella giving them an excellent comeback win.

Full time: Charlton Athletic (Home) 4 - 2 Charlton Athletic (Away)

Man of the Match Home: Nick Pitt
Man of the Match Away: Joe Venes
Moment of the Match: Valerio Spinella

Home Team: Roberto Modena, Jose Estanqueiro, Aaron Sharp (C), Mark Feehan, Neale Hargreaves, John-Paul Williams, David Harper, Roberto Estanqueiro, Christopher, Thornton, Nick Pitt, Jose Estanqueiro (No.2), Carlo Ballerini, Vanni Spinella, Valerio Spinella
Home Mascot: Harry Harper

Away Team: Tom Markham, Giuseppe Falso, Alex Rollo, Raffaele Griffo, Robert Fullam, Michail Retsinas, Mark Campbell, Matthew Weaver, Joe Venes, Barrie Knowles (C), Terry Rickeard, Marco Isidori, Luca Isidori, Tony Browne