Football / FA Cup Fourth Round: Rovers repulsed

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Charlton Athletic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Blackburn Rovers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Attendance: 8,532

MONEY counts, but not always when going for the silver of the FA Cup. For all their investments, Blackburn Rovers yesterday found that the individual hard work of Charlton players gathered together at minimal cost was equal to the sum of their own expensive parts.

The comparison between Blackburn, second in the Premiership, and Charlton, second in the First Division, should have been more to do with finance than football. It was Rovers' millions against Charlton's pocket-money at a shrunken Valley reclaimed from the developers.

For Kenny Dalglish, though, it was one of those days when the pressures that drove him from Liverpool returned. With every pound Jack Walker spends, Dalglish must feel the screw turn by one more thread.

When it comes to Cup ties, Blackburn's investment in David Batty makes a lot of sense. While Charlton battled throughout, Batty interrupted them with tackles like full- stops. Not that he could counter everything Charlton hurled through midfield and forward to the looming figure of Carl Leaburn, who had many more chances than Blackburn's illustrious Alan Shearer.

Tim Sherwood and Batty's industry was predominantly defensive and failed to create the opportunities that Shearer normally expects. So it was a good thing that Tim Flowers was always up to the goal-line scrambles and occasional shots that Charlton's ambition caused.

When Charlton managed to find the head of Leaburn, there was danger for Flowers but as the second half unrolled, Blackburn gave the impression of being ready to reveal something of their true ability. It was not to be. Charlton stemmed the flow and replied in full voice. No sooner had Steve Brown driven a shot across a crowded goalmouth, another, on the hour and almost on the target, was splendidly struck from outside the penalty area by Darren Pitcher. The ball seemed to be bending inside the far post but struck it a mighty clout.

Blackburn will not relish a second attempt to dispatch a team built cheaply but with the sort of understanding that money cannot always buy.