14 July 2012.
Charlton Athletic today kicked off their 2012/13 pre-season with what was, in the end, a comfortable 4-0 victory.
First Half: Pope; Cousins, Taylor, Cort, Evina; Green, Pritchard, Bover, Harriott; Kermorgant, Wright-Phillips.
During a difficult opening 45 minutes, in which the midfield pair of Ruben Bover Izquierdo and Bradley Pritchard were the stand out performers, Charlton were worked hard by their dogged opponents. Yet the Addicks were able to carve out a number of openings, with Bover at the heart of his side’s play.
It was Welling with their physical approach, however, who started the brighter with two early chances. First through a deflected Curtis Guthrie drive, followed up just a couple of minutes later when the dangerous Jack Obersteller broke down the left flank. Unfortunately for the full back, his weak shot was handled by the ever-improving Nick Pope.
Charlton slowly grew into the half. Bover, in particular, began to dictate play from the middle of the park and the Spaniard freed Cedric Evina down the left flank on 17 minutes. His cross was too hot to handle for the imposing figure of Yann Kermorgant and the chance was gone as quickly as it came.
Callum Harriott linked well with the impressive Evina down the left hand side, and it was the academy product involved in Charlton’s following openings. After blasting wide from a tight angle, the eighteen year old threaded a perfectly weight ball for Bradley Wright-Phillips to have his toe-poked effort blocked. The follow up effort was sent tamely wide by Bradley Pritchard.
The last noteworthy passage of play for the half came shortly before the whistle. The commanding partnership of Pritchard and Bover linked up once again, when Pritchard laid-off for Bover. The playmaker struck the ball well from 25 yards but found his shot sailing over the Wings crossbar.
Second Half: Jacobo; Solly, Mambo, Morrison, Wiggins; Stephens, Wagstaff, Jackson; Haynes, Cook; Smith.
A total of twenty substitutions were made at half time, eleven of which were Addicks changes. Lining up in what appeared a 4-3-3 formation, the men in black looked to assert themselves on the game and it didn’t take long for them to break the deadlock.
After good play down the right hand side, Chris Solly was able to send over a difficult ball for the fresh Welling defence to deal with. The result was an own goal, scored by Joe Obersteller, the younger brother of first-half full back Jack. 1-0 to the Addicks.
And it didn’t take long for the advantage to double. Dale Stephens floated in a rountine corner from the left which found Michael Smith rising highest to bury the ball into the Wings net. 2-0 to the Addicks.
The hosts refused to give in though and soon Ross Lafayette was in on goal, one-on-one with trialist ‘keeper Jacobo. Lafayette failed to convert and saw his shot smack the post after Jacobo successfully narrowed his angles.
The Addicks quality began to show however, and when Fraser Franks brought down Danny Haynes in the penalty area 12 minutes from time, Johnnie Jackson was able to calmly convert from spot. Their could be no arguments about the decision and you feel with 12 minutes to play, Charlton were out of sight. 3-0 to the Addicks.
The pacey Haynes was involved again four minutes from time. After an impressive move down the Charlton left, Jackson’s attempt at goal was deflected behind for yet another corner. Dale Stephens stepped up and delivered once again with pinpoint accuracy.
This time Haynes got his head on the ball at the near post to send a flicked header past the despairing gloves of Jamie Turner in the Wings goal. 4-0 to the Addicks.
There was still time for one more opening however as Smith teed up Wagstaff. Unfortunately the Maidstone-born wide man was unable to hit the target.
- Goals: Joe Obsteller (OG) 49mins, Michael Smith 54mins, Johnnie Jackson (pen) 78mins, Danny Haynes 86mins.
- Star Performers: Ruben Bover Izquierdo, Bradley Pritchard, Dale Stephens, Michael Smith.
- Attendance: 1,827.
- Referee: Mr. I Cooper.
Chris Powell chose to leave out a number of key names from last seasons squad including Ben Hamer, John Sullivan and Danny Hollands. It is not expected however, that this is anything to look into and all three players will play their parts in future games with plenty of opportunities over the coming weeks to show how they can perform.