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Match Reports
Charlton Reserves v Spurs Reserves, 03.10.05


Charlton scorer:-
Varney, 63

Spurs scorer:-
Barnard, 75

Referee: - Mr. S. Tomlinson

Attendance: - Est. 400

Charlton (4-5-1); - Kiely; Youga, Fortune, Sorondo, Brandao; John, Fuller (Capt.) (sub Murtagh, 78), Ricketts, Phillips, Sam (sub Wilson, 69); Varney

Subs not used: - Elliott; Clifford, Cottrell

Booked: - Ricketts

Spurs (4-4-2):- Cerny; Riley, Lee, Bunjevcevic (Capt.) (sub Mills, 40), McKie; Lewis, McKenna, O’Hara, Hallfredsson; Hamed (sub Seanla, 67), Barnard

Subs not used: - Forecast; Martin; Dawkins

Booked: - McKenna

Spurs travelled to The Valley for the second time in three days, but they did not have as much success as their first team counterparts on Saturday. With many squad players missing on International duty, both teams featured predominantly young players, with an equal amount of experience on each side.

The home side had Dean Kiely in goal, and despite the fact that he was not Captain, he was the most vocal player on the pitch, cajoling and encouraging his charges through the game. The Charlton centre-back pairing was also experienced with Jonathan Fortune beside Uruguayan Gonzalo Sorondo. For Spurs Radek Cerny was in goal, and Goran Bunjevcevic skippered the side at centre-back. Spurs had no other player with first team experience.

The sides were well matched, and whilst Charlton played Varney as a lone striker, he did have plenty of support from Sam, from the left, and Fuller, Phillips and John, whilst Mark Ricketts’ job was to sit in front of the back four. Spurs played a conventional pattern, with Charlie Lee making a welcome appearance next to Bunjee, and youngsters Chris Riley and Marcel McKie at full back. Emil Hallfredsson played on the left, and Stuart Lewis played in an unfamiliar right side role, whilst O’Hara and McKenna played inside. Radwan Hamed had played 90 minutes for the under 18s on Saturday, and it was easy to see why he has leapt up the pecking order to win a place in the reserve side. He has pace and good close control, and combined well with Barnard in several attacks. Naturally, Hamed tired towards the end of the game and Claude “Steff” Seanla got a chance to show his ability too.

Neither side had made any real threat for the first ten minutes, before Charlton had a succession of decent efforts. Firstly Sam cut inside from the left and hit a decent 25 yard shot just outside Cerny’s right post, then Varney received a threaded pass in space just inside the box, curling a good right footed shot across the goal and just outside the target. Finally, right back Youga passed inside to Fuller, just outside the box, and the skipper hit his shot wide as well. Thus a trend was set for the night, as Charlton failed to make best use of their possession and opportunities in front of goal.

McKenna and Barnard showed good skills after 15 minutes, when breaking from their own half. McKenna bravely won the ball, and Barnard clipped it overhead into McKenna’s path. Kieran was away on a run and hit a good long range effort just over Kiely’s left stanchion. Barnard showed more skill shortly as he swiftly passed the ball as he turned to set Hamed away. Hamed’s shot rattled the net, but had done so from a rebound behind the goal.

Mid-way through the half, Bunjee was struggling to keep up with John as he raced onto a long clearance, driving just wide with a shot that was never really worrying Cerny. The two number fours got booked in quick succession, and then with ten minutes to go in the first half, Hallfredsson, covering at the back lost the ball to Youga, whose shot was well saved by the Spurs keeper, stretching up to his left top corner. Bunjee then got crocked and was replaced by Leigh Mills, who sadly looked uncertain throughout the game. Charlie Lee was a much more confident and capable proposition, hardly making a mistake. In fact, in injury time, Lee made a great run from half way, and had a pop at goal himself, at least testing Kiely.

After the break, Hallfredsson got forward more and looks better going in this direction. He made a good pass to McKenna who “used his strength” inside the Charlton area, before making a short chip, which Barnard headed to the keeper. Charlton gave Cerny more practice after 51 minutes, when Sorondo glanced a header from a corner, and Cerny made a sharp save, as seen in the pre-season Peace Cup. Charlton went ahead in the 63rd minute, as Mills could not quite reach a cross from the right and Varney hit a first time right footed shot past Cerny.

The Spurs equaliser came 15 minutes from the end, and it was a great move from back to front. Cerny rolled the ball out to McKie, who sent Jamie O’Hara away with a decent ball down the inside left. O’Hara got to the bye-line hitting a cross which Barnard powerfully headed home for his third goal of the reserves’ 5-match campaign to date. Form here onwards, Spurs looked the more likely winners, as Charlton struggled to get out of their half. O’Hara hit a long range shot just over, Lewis and Seanla combined and Seanla was just thwarted as he got into a shooting position in the box, and finally McKenna’s free kick went over the bar.

The draw was a fair result, and unbeaten Spurs moved up to third in the Reserve League, three points behind Charlton and Arsenal, both of whom have played more games. We play Arsenal Reserves next Monday at Broadhall Way, Stevenage

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