Captal Woe For Reserves

Last updated : 08 March 2005 By The Rambler

Charlton 5 2 Derby
Charlton :- Andersen, Fuller, Gross, Hughes, Fortune, Fish, Rommedahl, Euell, Jeffers, Varney, Sam.
Subs:- Ricketts, Randolph, Wilson, John, Carvill.
Derby:- Grant, Doyle, Vincent, Turner, Mills (Young 74), Martin, Cassidy, Barnes, Junior, Ainsworth, Reich.
Subs:- Nyatanga, Booth, Nix, Meredith.

Referee: S.Dorr

A strong Derby reserve side travelled to the Valley last night hoping to put the memory of last weeks' 3-0 drubbing at the hand of Chelsea out of their mind.

With no first team fixture this weekend Steve Taylor had the luxury of naming a strong side with no less than 5 genuine first team players in his starting eleven.

Charlton sit proudly at the head of the Reserve League South a mighty 30 points ahead of the Rams although the Pride Park outfit have no less than 5 games in hand on the Londoners.

The Addicks were also able to field an experienced side that included Mark Fish, Dennis Rommedahl, Jason Euell, and Francis Jeffers.

It would have been an experience for the youngsters to turn out at the Valley as Charlton are currently the only London based side to play their second string fixtures at their league ground.

The magnitude of Derbys' task quickly became apparent as they went 2 goals down in the first 15 minutes. With Euell firing home from close range after 6 minutes and Alex Varney volleying a cracking second 8 minutes later from a pin-point cross provided by Barry Fuller.

Rocked back on their heels the Rams tried to claw their way back into the game as Reich, Vincent and Junior combined to feed David Cassidy just inside the area but he was unable to connect with it.

Lionel Ainsworth stung the hands of Stephan Andersen with a powerful shot after creating the opportunity for himself and Junior fired wide just shy of the half hour mark.

Charlton had the chance to make it 3 in the 38th minute after a mix up between Mills and Grant, but the former managed to make up for his error with a clearance.

Relief only lasted 5 minutes though with Lloyd Sam cutting the Derby defence open with a clinical pass that Euell deftly flicked past Grant to leave the score 3 - 0 at the break. It would have been more but for a fingertip save from Grant in stoppage time.

Having to pull back such a wide deficit was always going to be a big ask but the Rams set about their task manfully without troubling the home keeper. Only a Nathan Doyle rising shot from the edge of the box that flew over the crossbar and a weak header from a freekick to show for their efforts.

The hosts went a further goal up on 56 minutes. Dennis Rommedahl picking up a slack clearance and taking the ball un impeded to the edge of the area before firing low into the corner of the net.

The Rams showed that they weren't dead as Junior converted at close range a Reich cross from the left in the 64th minute.

Sam restored the 4 goal margin 6 minutes later heading a right wing cross past Grant.

Junior, though , pulled one back on 77 with arguably the goal of the night. Weaving into the box from the right he dribbled his way to a good shooting position before beating the keeper with a stunning shot that Andersen could only watch flash past him.

The goal was of such quality that it deserved to win the game rather than be s mere footnote in a 5 - 2 mauling.

The Brazilian forward was still trying to add to his tally as the game went into stoppage time heading over a difficult chance.

He showed his eagerness to regain his first team place through his goals, while youngsters like Chris Turner showed a desire to compete.

It was also pleasing to see Jamie Vincent come through his first 90 minutes in a long time seemingly unscathed.