Football: Pringle rewards Charlton

Charlton Athletic 2 Newcastle United 2

THE BREAK that Charlton had waited weeks, if not months, for finally arrived with the very last kick of yesterday's game at The Valley, sparing them a new Premiership record of nine successive defeats and ensuring that justice was seen to be done.

A minute earlier, Mark Bright had been denied his second goal although it was evident even without Sky TV's magnified close-ups that the ball had crossed the line. There was time for one more attack, in which another substitute, the teenager Scott Parker, kept his head while all around were holding theirs in frustration, and fed Martin Pringle, who climaxed his debut by winning Charlton's first point since 14 November.

With eight defeats in a row since then, the black hole at the foot of the Premiership seemed to be swallowing them up, all the more so when Newcastle went 2-0 ahead by the 55th minute. Bright gave his team a toe hold, which firmed up when Newcastle's Nikolaos Dabizas was sent off 12 minutes from the end. Things were slipping again before Pringle's dramatic late intervention.

Newcastle's manager Ruud Gullit bemoaned a "crazy day and crazy week" but he will have found few sympathisers, least of all in this corner of south-east London, for a crop of injuries that included the former Charlton hero Robert Lee. "The sending-off changed the whole game," he said. "All these circumstances are out of my control and that's very frustration." Gullit was equally annoyed by the decision to show a yellow card to Alan Shearer, who will now be suspended, though the tackle split Pringle's boot.

On Gullit's own admission, "sexy" football is now off the agenda following two wins in 13 matches. Charlton have long since abandoned any such pretensions and there was certainly nothing pretty or seductive about yesterday's game. It became an eventful and controversial one, however, in the second half.

Charlton's manager, Alan Curbishley, who has been scouring Britain and the Continent for a striker, had given full debuts to Pringle, a loanee from Benfica, in attack and Simon Royce in goal as Sasa Ilic, faulted for a number of goals recently, was dropped for the first time. The public address system played "Things Can Only Get Better" but they got worse first.

Temuri Ketsbaia gave the visitors the lead after 14 minutes when he latched on to Alan Shearer's flick-on before firing past Royce from 25 yards.

Nolberto Solano then doubled the advantage on 55 minutes after more good work by Shearer and Ketsbaia, the Peruvian stabbing home the loose ball after Ketsbaia's shot had been only partially saved by Royce.

Charlton looked dead and buried but an inspired substitution brought them back into the game, Bright scoring with his first touch seconds after coming on following Mills' long throw.

The home crowd then thought they had ended their miserable run when another Bright header looked to have crossed the line before being hacked clear. The referee, Peter Jones, and his linesman were not convinced however - they will be when they see a video replay - and it looked as though Newcastle, down to 10 men now, would escape.

But there was still time for another dramatic twist as Swedish international Pringle, making his home debut since joining on loan from Benfica, fired a volley past Steve Harper with the last kick of the game to spark wild celebrations at The Valley.

The home side had started brightly with Keith Jones, replacing the suspended Neil Redfearn, battling his way to the byline but Harper, deputising for the suspended Shay Given, reacted quickly to cut out the danger.

John Robinson then went close to breaking the deadlock after seven minutes, volleying just over from Pringle's flick-on.

But Newcastle gradually began to get into the game, Gary Speed firing inches wide after Ketsbaia's lay-off 20 yards out. Shearer then escaped the attentions of Carl Tiler to race to the byline and Mills did well to get to the cross before the lurking Ketsbaia.

Goals: Ketsbaia (13) 0-1; Solano (55) 0-2; Bright (64) 1-2; Pringle (90) 2-2.

Charlton Athletic: Royce; Mills, Powell, Youds, Newton (Konchesky, 63), Kinsella, Hunt (Bright, 63), Robinson, Jones (Parker 79), Tiler, Pringle. Substitutes not used: Brown, Ilic (gk).

Newcastle United: Harper; Barton, Howey, Shearer, Speed, Ketsbaia (Dalglish, 89), Georgiadis, Solano (Hughes 79), Domi, Dabizas, Brady (Charvet, 72). Substitutes not used: Barnes, Perez (gk).

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough).

Sending-off: Newcastle: Dabizas 77. Bookings: Newcastle: Shearer, Dabizas, Georgiadis.

Man of the match: Ketsbaia.

Attendance: 20,043.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

MBDA UK Ltd: Electronic Sub-System Design Verification engineer

Flexible working, annual bonus, pension & more.: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the oppor...

MBDA UK Ltd: Test Systems Architect

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? MBDA has e...

MBDA UK Ltd: Test Systems Design Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity?MBDA has en...

MBDA UK Ltd: PCB Technologies Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity?MBDA has en...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor