The game was finely balanced until the goals arrived in a 15-minute second- half flurry. Indeed, the visitors had looked the more thoughtful and demonstrated it by forcing three excellent saves from Andy Petterson in the Charlton goal while, at the other end, Carlo Nash rarely had to break sweat, despite the swirl of activity which came his way.
Neil Shipperley was twice thwarted by the goalkeeper in that first half, though his casual header to Bruce Dyer's 13th-minute cross allowed Petterson the time to tip the ball wide. With Mark Kinsella and John Robinson hovering behind their strikers Jason Lee and Carl Leaburn, the combative David Hopkin had his plate full as well as being the source of most of Palace's attacking endeavour.
But the Palace captain's aggression, accelerated by the loss of the defender David Tuttle when he turned an ankle in the 15th minute, saw him booked in the 55th minute, a punishment compounded when Robinson found Lee's head with the resultant free-kick and in went Charlton's first. Their captain, Brendan O'Donnell, found himself suffering a similar fate five minutes later when he was booked for a foul. Andy Roberts took the kick and Dyer rose above the defence to head beyond Petterson.
But Charlton had the adrenalin rushing now and O'Donnell made amends when in the 70th minute he battled through the penalty box to beat Nash with a lob which rebounded from the crossbar. Robinson swooped on the rebound, dragged it wide of a lunging tackle and on to his good right foot, which sent it low under Nash. Fifteen minutes from time, Palace replaced their strikers with Carl Veart and George Ndah. But the game was beyond them by then.Reuse content