Football: Pringle's precision bolsters Charlton
Crewe Alexandra 0 Charlton Athletic 2
Wednesday 03 November 1999
Mark Kinsella and his cohorts controlled the midfield as Charlton demonstrated their counter-attacking prowess. Crewe stuck manfully to their task, yet did not bring a save worthy of the name from Dean Kiely until he acrobatically tipped over Colin Little's header midway through the second half.
Barely six months ago Charlton were scuffling for Premiership points at places like Old Trafford, Highbury and Anfield. Coming to the Alexandra Stadium was not, however, the culture shock it might have been.
A massive new stand has risen at Gresty Road, dwarfing the other three sides but also depriving Crewe of the cramped setting which might have unsettled Charlton. Alan Curbishley's side certainly settled quickly, Andy Hunt forcing Jason Kearton to save with his leg before they took an early lead.
A 13th-minute thrust along Crewe's right flank led to Pringle reaching the penalty area. The former Benfica striker selflessly squared the ball for Stuart, who more or less ran it in at the far post.
Crewe's bold response belied their lowly status. Eddie Youds' blocking tackle denied Rodney Jack a certain equaliser, before Little volleyed wildly over after Colin Cramb had twisted round Youds.
Charlton's second goal, on the half-hour, also had its origins on their left wing, Pringle heading Hunt's cross down past Kearton. Crewe's frustration immediately intensified when Cramb, presented with a simple tap-in by Little's pass, connected only with fresh air.
One of the keys to Charlton's recovery since their relegation has been continuity; Greg Shields was the only outfield player last night not involved last season. The Scottish right-back, watched by Craig Brown's deputy, Alex Miller, showed his attacking ability with a powerful drive which Kearton did well to push aside at full stretch.
Crewe, by contrast, cashed in their prize asset for pounds 3m, and some cynical locals call the new structure the Seth Johnson Stand. Dario Gradi's positive principles have not changed, but luck has temporarily deserted them. One almighty scramble in the visitors six-yard box in the second half saw the ball strike all manner of Charlton limbs before being cleared.
Crewe Alexandra: (4-4-2): Kearton; Bignot, Lightfoot, Macauley, S Smith; Collins (Lunt, 79), Charnock, Sorvel, Little; Jack, Cramb. Substitutes not used: Unsworth, P Smith, Wright, Welsby (gk)
Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Kiely; Shields, Brown, Youds, Powell ; Stuart, James, Kinsella, Robinson (Newton, 74); Pringle (Salako, 80), Hunt. Substitutes not used: Barness, Parker, Fortune (gk).
Referee: J Kirkby (Sheffield).
Latest in Sport
Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United: Saints yet to receive 'serious offer' but midfielder could complete move by end of this week
Sergio Ramos to Manchester United: Real Madrid defender 'wants' Old Trafford switch
Radamel Falcao to Chelsea: Former Manchester United striker 'signs contract' to join Blues and is told to meet up with squad on pre-season tour
Venezuelan TV host gets completely naked while reporting on Copa America win over Colombia
Manchester United transfer news: Javier Hernandez nears exit as Liverpool eye move for striker despite revealing Real Madrid video
- 1 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Why it matters 26 million people have changed their Facebook profile picture to a rainbow flag
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...
£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...