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
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Brazil vs Germany match report World Cup 2014: Utter humiliation for hosts as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos help Germany hit seven past Selecao
Angel di Maria: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal 'monitoring' Real Madrid winger
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...