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Charlton 1-1 Birmingham City
WADE Elliott’s stoppage time equaliser earned Birmingham City a draw at Charlton.
The Addicks looked to be on their way to three points after Yann Kermorgant headed them in front in the 88th minute.
But Birmingham, who denied the Londoners an opening day victory at St Andrews with Nikola Zigic’s 94th minute equaliser back in August, repeated the trick again as Elliott nicked a point at the death.
There were returns to the starting line-up for Dale Stephens and Kermorgant, as Bradley Pritchard and Dorian Dervite both dropped to the bench.
Chris Burke and Elliott both blazed early long range efforts over the bar for the visitors before Johnnie Jackson delivered a smart free-kick into the box low to Stephens, whose shot was deflected behind for a corner.
Ricardo Fuller’s 13th minute low drive from the edge of the area was tipped behind by Jack Butland after Stephens had cleverly back-heeled the ball into the Charlton striker’s path.
Marlon King placed a 26th minute shot straight at Ben Hamer before Kermorgant’s effort was deflected behind at the other end, with Wilson’s header going just wide from the corner.
Wilson fired straight at Bultland 10 minutes before the break and then Robert Hall had a penalty claim ignored after going to ground very easily under a challenge from Chris Solly.
Scott Wagstaff’s 47th minute drive was deflected behind as Charlton began the second half in positive fashion.
Hamer made a straightforward save to keep out Hall’s stinging shot but the Birmingham player was unfortunate shortlay afterwards to drag a low drive wide after Wilson had failed to clear the danger.
King blazed a 54th minute shot wildly over the bar after being set up by Burke, while Fuller’s curling effort flew only inches wide of the target as the game remained evenly poised.
Cedric Evina was the next to go close with a shot over, while Butland came to Curtis Davies’ rescue by gathering the ball after the Birmingham player almost scored an own goal.
Fuller tried to have a shot in a crowded penalty area, Wagstaff eventually did so but Butland was again alert to deal with the situation.
Danny Green, who could so easily have been a Swindon player had his deadline day loan not been blocked by the authorities, came on for Wilson on 71 minutes.
Steven Caldwell placed an 80th minute header straight at Hamer and then Butland again underlined his England credentials by denying Wagstaff.
Charlton finally got the goal their efforts deserved two minutes from time when Solly delivered an excellent cross from the right and Kermorgan headed home from close range to finally beat Butland.
But the Addicks’ inability to hold on to a lead came back to haunt them again deep into stoppage time when they failed to clear their lines and Burke’s ball into the box was met by Elliott, who fired past Hamer to rescue a point for the Blues.
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Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Evina, Cort, Morrison, Wilson (Green 71), Stephens, Jackson, Wagstaff (Dervite 90), Kermorgant, Fuller (Wright-Phillips 90). Subs not used: Button, Kerkar, Pritchard, Wiggins. Att: 17,269.
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