Saha takes advantage of referee's end-of-term crackdown

Charlton Athletic 0 Fulham 1
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The Independent Football

The saying goes that you do not notice a good referee. Well, Dermot Gallagher was there for all to see in this London derby, loud and proud in his black uniform. The Oxfordshire official gave two penalties, sent off Charlton's goalkeeper and booked six players. It was as if it was his personal way of signing off for the summer and saying: "See you next season".

The saying goes that you do not notice a good referee. Well, Dermot Gallagher was there for all to see in this London derby, loud and proud in his black uniform. The Oxfordshire official gave two penalties, sent off Charlton's goalkeeper and booked six players. It was as if it was his personal way of signing off for the summer and saying: "See you next season".

Fulham were the beneficiaries when the visitors were awarded a penalty, which Louis Saha tucked away after little over half an hour. With the game just past the hour mark, Gallagher awarded the home side a spot-kick, but Jason Euell saw his shot saved by Maik Taylor.

The first penalty livened up a game in need of some spice, as both were playing for little more than local pride and some extra merit money. The decisive moment arrived when Sean Davis pumped a long ball forward for Saha and, with some expecting an offside flag, Dean Kiely rushed off his line and clattered into the Frenchman just inside his area. Although Saha's control of the ball was minimal, Kiely was the last man and Gallagher had no compunction in sending off the former Republic of Ireland international. That meant Ben Roberts' first job, in his first appearance for Charlton three years after joining them, was picking the ball out of his net, despite getting an arm to Saha's penalty.

Unsurprisingly, that seemed to galvanise Charlton. Euell gave Fulham's defence most headaches, first hitting over the bar and then scuffing a shot wide after turning Andy Melville, but to no avail.

Goals: Saha (33, pen) 0-1

Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Kiely 3; Powell 4 (Stuart, 83), Fortune 4, Young 4, Kishishev 4; Konchesky 4, Parker 4, Jensen 5 (Johansson, 83), Lisbie 6; Euell 5, Bartlett 3 (Roberts, gk, 5, 32) Substitutes not used: Bart-Williams, Sankofa.

Fulham (4-5-1): Taylor 6; Harley 5, Melville 5, Goma 5, Finnan 4; Malbranque 5, Legwinski 6, Davis 5 (Hayles, 82) Clark 7, Boa Morte 5 (Collins, 88); Saha 6 (Hammond, 90). Substitutes not used: Van der Sar (gk), Djétou.

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury) 5.

Bookings: Charlton Euell, Kishishev, Young. Fulham: Malbranque, Harley, Legwinski. Sent off: Fulham: Kiely.

Man of the match: Clark.

Attendance: 26,108.

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