Charlton hold on as Davies sounds alarm

Charlton Athletic 3 - Yeovil Town 2

A fighting tradition in the Cup, and the ability that goes with it, dies hard when you come from Yeovil. Charlton were the latest team from England's top division to be rattled by the West Country battlers, who still dine out on what they did to Sunderland back in 1949. They nearly did it again yesterday, and can be counted unlucky not to have come away with a replay from The Valley, Talal El Karkouri denying them a draw by clearing Phil Jevons' shot off the line.

A fighting tradition in the Cup, and the ability that goes with it, dies hard when you come from Yeovil. Charlton were the latest team from England's top division to be rattled by the West Country battlers, who still dine out on what they did to Sunderland back in 1949. They nearly did it again yesterday, and can be counted unlucky not to have come away with a replay from The Valley, Talal El Karkouri denying them a draw by clearing Phil Jevons' shot off the line.

Yeovil were applauded off by Charlton's supporters, and the loudspeaker announcer told them and their 5,000 followers: "Keep on playing like that and we will see you back here in the League in a few years' time."

Charlton's manager Alan Curbishley was happy to join the chorus. "It was a proper Cup tie with everything in it," he said. "I am just pleased we have come out the other side.

"I was impressed with Yeovil, they looked really dangerous on the break and we had it all to do. But from the moment the draw was announced I knew it would be game on."

It did look, however, as if it was game over when a two-goal burst early in the second half left Yeovil trailing 3-1.

The loss of their best player, Paul Terry, brother of Chelsea's John, with knee ligament damage immediately after those goals appeared to have put the mission out of their reach but, as their manager Gary Johnson had promised, they gave it a go.

"We said we wanted to see if we could compete with a Premiership team, and we did," said Johnson. "We must have frightened them."

An extra ingredient in this mix was Charlton's wretched record against lesser clubs in knock-out competitions and the London side were inclined to feel their way cautiously, especially with a 20-goal man like Jevons on the prowl.

Yeovil's confidence and commitment were admirable and their fans, gathered in the Jimmy Seed Stand end groaned as - with Dean Kiely beaten all ends up - Terry's shot rebounded from the base of an upright. Vulnerable to high crosses, Yeovil had their own share of first-half escapes, and Francis Jeffers and Shaun Bartlett should both have done better.

It was one of these set-pieces which saw Charlton go ahead. El Karkouri's free-kick from the halfway line was headed down by Hermann Hreidarsson for Bryan Hughes to volley in.

Curbishley admitted he had to change his planned half-time team talk from a congratulatory one to harsher words when, in the dying seconds, Kevin Gall came galloping into the home penalty area and, when he lost possession, Terry was on hand to drive the loose ball past Kiely.

Normality seemed restored by the two goals early in the second half. First, the excellent Danny Murphy laid a low ball just out of Chris Weale's reach to permit Jeffers the simplest of tap-ins, then Jerome Thomas cut in from the left to supply Bartlett for a left-foot shot from close in. Bartlett had another chance to make it 4-1 before Yeovil's counter-attack clicked into gear.

The arrival of Arron Davies from the substitutes' bench proved a crucial switch. He had not been on long before, collecting the ball on the edge of the penalty box, he struck a bouncing shot into the corner of Kiely's goal.

A ball given away by Charlton's laxity at the Yeovil end was the launch pad for a thrilling raid in which Davies, once more, hurtled through and was only denied by a brave dash and block by Kiely. As the ball broke loose, Jevons' bid to find the untenanted net was denied by El Karkouri's clearance. It was that close to a trip to the Huish for Charlton.

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine