Charlton Athletic v Crystal Palace 27/01/09
CHARLTON ATHLETIC 1 v 0 CRYSTAL PALACE
So here we are then, one of the biggest games in the Eagles calendar and one both teams will be desperate to win for more reasons than simple bragging rights. Chartlon are on an awful run in the league and are in dire need of a win, while Palace need to find some form again after conceding eight goals in two games.
In recognition of the magnitude of tonight's game, Neil Warnock makes four changes to the side dumped out of the FA Cup by Watford on Saturday. Nathanial Clyne is rested while Alan Lee, Victor Moses and Neil Danns drop to the bench, with Danny Butterfield, Nick Carle, Shefki Kuqi and Sean Scannell coming in.
Palace: Speroni, Butterfield, Lawrence, Fonte, Hill, Derry, Carle, Oster, Scannell, Kuqi, Ifill. Subs: Fletcher, Lee, Moses, Hills, Danns.
Charlton: Elliot, Youga, Bailey, Hudson, Gray, Spring, Sam, Fortune, Murty, Burton, Soares. Subs: Shelvey, Holland, Dickson, Basey, Randolph.
For Charlton there are starts for ex-Eagles Mark Hudson and Tom Soares, the latter getting a good hand from the Palace faithful.
1 min: Charlton get us off and under way.
2 min: Early pressure from Palace as Fortune just clears Derry's header into the box ahead of Derry.
3 min: Hill gives Hudson an early 'remember us' as two collide from a free kick into the Palace box. Nothing given though.
8 min: Speroni gets his body in the right place at the right time as Spring just fails to get a touch to Sam's inswinging cross. To be honest he should have done and it was poor defending to let him in.
10 min: If anyone had any doubts about the atmosphere tonight they shouldn't have done. It's cracking.
13 min: GOAL! Charlton take the lead as Sam crosses from the right and from a melee of heads at the back post the ball comes back to Spring in acres of space 12 yards out to volley home.
14 min: YELLOW CARD. Kuqi booked for his protests about the goal. Not sure what he was protesting about as he was back on the half way line.
17 min: The ref by the way is the much talked about Stuart Atwell which I bet Warnock is ecstatic about.
18 min: YELLOW CARD. Carle goes in the book for a late challenge on Soares, probably deserved it but it was his first offence and there was no malice there.
20 min: Palace not dealing with the aerial threat very well as a long throw falls to Burton in the exact spot Spring was in when he scored. This time Fonte closes him down and he shoots over.
22 min: Ooh. Ifill is a studs length away from connecting with Carle's cross.
25 min: Fonte being made to change shirts after getting blood on his old one. Now wearing number 60.
27 min: Scannell wins a corner off Youga and Elliot does well to claim Carle's cross ahead of Hill at the back post and gets a clattering for his troubles.
33 min: Both sides very committed but lacking quality really as Oster almosts wriggles free in the box but not quite.
34 min: Soares bursts into the box past Fonte and Lawrence and earns a corner of Hill which Fonte clears. He has looked good Soares but he is playing right wing again which I am sure annoys him.
40 min: Palace offering little going forward this half. Kuqi has run around a lot but done nothing while Scannell and Ifill have looked a little nervous.
43 min: Half a chance as Carle finds himself in space on the far side of the box from Oster's cross but he can't keep the shot down. He had to get that on target - something Palace have yet to do.
HALF TIME: Palace could have equalised at the death as poor marking from Charlton lets Oster get to the byline from a throw and cross for Hill to glance a header wide. Palace need to do a little bit more second half and try and get the wide players in a bit more. The few times they have tried to pass the ball through Charlton have offered glimpses of chance - but there has been very little concrete so far and Elliot has not had a save to make. That needs to change.
46 min: Second half under way and no changes.
50 min: Hudson a tower of strength for Charlton at the minute and is beating Kuqi to the ball every time and Palace have very few ideas other than lumping it up to Kuqi.
54 min: Scannell and Ifill not in this game at all. Neither has got to the byline yet. Lee and Moses getting ready.
55 min: DOUBLE SUB: Indeed it is the two wingers who make way for Lee, who goes left wing (!) and Moses who goes right. Kuqi stays through the middle.
60 min: SUB: Fortune off, Holland on.
60 min: Elliot makes a save but Moses' header from Butterfield's cross was straight at him.
64 min: Another header straight at Elliot, this time Lee from Moses' cross. Palace beginning to knock on the door but look nervous when Charlton break.
67 min: YELLOW CARD: Youga booked for time wasting though the ref was a little card happy there.
71 min: A big 20 minutes in Palace's season this, they need to at least equalise.
72 min: Lee wins a free kick in a good position but Oster shoots it straight into the wall.
75 min: SUB: Gray off, Dickson on. His pace could cause problems.
77 min: Charlton playing very deep and letting Palace come on to them but the Eagles don't look like finding a past.
78 min: As I write that Moses sees a shot cannon off Elliot.
80 min: YELLOW CARD: Dickson booked for contesting an offside decision. All he did was wave his finger at the lino to be fair.
82 min: SUB: Carle off, Danns on in the last throw of the dice by Warnock.
84 min: YELLOW CARD. Moses booked. I'm not sure if it was for a foul or that pesky finger waving Atwell doesn't like.
85 min: SUB: Sam off, Basey on.
88 min: Palace keep pumping the ball in the box and Charlton keep pumping it right back out.
90 min: That was the chance as Kuqi chests it down to Danns and the edge of the box but he volleys over. FIVE minutes added on.
90 min: Butterfield clears infront of open goal and keep Palace in ti while Kuqi just misses a Lee flick on at the other end.
FULL TIME: Ecstacy for the Charlton fans as they finally win in the league but despair for Palace and that new striker cannot come quick enough. Soares does the decent thing and applaudes the Palace fans who applaud him back. So on to Blackpool on Saturday and that really is turning into a must win for the Eagles now. See you then.