Football: Jones' just reward

Charlton Athletic 1 Jones 64 Wolves 1 Richards 48 Attendance : 15,540
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The Independent Online
FORTUNE favours the brave, especially in cup ties and the audacious if risky tactic Wolves chose here came within an ace of taking them through to the FA Cup fifth round and ending Charlton's proud record of 10 home games without defeat.

But no one could begrudge Charlton another chance in 10 days' time as they battled relentlessly after going behind to Dean Richards' goal three minutes into the second half. Keith Jones's 64th-minute equaliser was well-deserved and apt as the diminutive but highly combative midfielder stood above his colleagues on the day.

It was in the midfield that the Wolves manager, Mark McGhee, took his big chance, electing to have a five-man defence and a three-man attack, leaving Carl Robinson and Steve Sedgely to hold the line in the middle.

Mixu Paataleinen's physical presence, allied to the perpetual threat of Dougie Freedman and Don Goodman, did give Richard Rufus and Paul Chapple too many intimidating moments, none more so in the 48th minute. Freedman forced a corner on the left and Steve Froggatt's corner was flicked on by Paataleinen to Richards who had flitted out of defence into an unmarked position eight yards out and accomplished the simple task of beating Mike Salmon with a firm header.

Wolves tactical gamble was paying off as play swung relentlessly from end-to-end, bypassing the midfield although Mark Kinsella and Jones did try to bring occasional poise to the Charlton challenge.

They had made most progress on the right flank where the speed of Shaun Newton was a perpetual threat. The winger burst past Froggatt to hammer a low cross into the visitors goalmouth where Keith Curle, at full stretch, got a toe to the ball. But it only sent it to Jones, lurking on the edge of the box, and his shot bobbled through the ruck of players to nestle in the left-hand corner of Mike Stowell's net.