Charlton 5-4 Cardiff: Match Report
Charlton 5-4 Cardiff: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Addicks prosper in nine-goal thriller
Charlton came from two goals down to record a memorable 5-4 victory over Cardiff as the sides shared nine goals in an incredible match at The Valley.
The visitors' set-piece ability put them two goals ahead within the first 25 minutes through strikers Heidar Helguson and Joe Mason.
Charlton responded with Johnnie Jackson's double before half-time and then 11 crazy second-half minutes saw Chris Powell's men rattle in three goals with Dale Stephens, Danny Haynes and then Rob Hulse putting them 5-2 up against the npower Championship leaders.
It stayed that way until added time where Craig Noone and Aron Gunnarsson netted but Charlton held on to just edge this nine-goal thriller.
Powell made two changes to his Charlton side after their 4-1 home defeat to Middlesbrough, decisions that proved to be inspired choices, with Haynes and Stephens replacing Bradley Wright-Phillips and the injured Lawrie Wilson.
Cardiff, who were also beaten on Saturday, made just the one change with on-loan Fulham winger Kerim Frei making his first start in place of Kim Bo-Kyung.
And it took the wounded Bluebirds just three minutes to take the lead. An effort from the in-form Noone was palmed around the post by Ben Hamer and the resulting corner was flicked in at the near post by the head of Helguson for his sixth of the season.
A flowing move then saw Cardiff come close to doubling their lead but Noone's shot came off Mason and went wide.
The former Plymouth striker would get himself on the scoresheet in the 24th minute though to seemingly put Cardiff in control, lashing the ball home from close range after defender Ben Turner rattled the crossbar.
But the home side pulled a goal back 15 minutes later with their first shot on target. Cardiff keeper Marshall dropped a long ball and Jackson had the simple task of putting the ball in the empty net.
Jackson then grabbed his second on the stroke of half-time to turn the game on its head. Turner did well to clear Rob Hulse's header off the line and when the corner came in Jackson rose unchallenged to nod the ball in from six yards out.
And the turnaround was complete nine minutes after the break when Stephens' 40-yard free-kick from the left hand side flew over the head of Marshall.
The sixth goal of an incredible match followed just four minutes later when Haynes, recalled to the side along with Stephens, headed home from close range.
Cardiff's away record has been in stark contrast to their superb home form and they conceded their 18th away goal of the season when Hulse rose unmarked to nod home his second in two games from Salim Kerkar's cross to make it 5-2 after 65 minutes.
Malky Mackay's shellshocked side failed to create any chances of note in the final 25 minutes but rallied as the game reached stoppage time.
First Noone rounded Hamer to score for the third game running and then four minutes into added time substitute Gunnarsson netted to set up a thrilling finale.
Incredibly Noone had a chance to snatch a point in the dying seconds but his effort flew just over.
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