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Charlton 2-2 Oxford
Michael MNorrison heads Charlton back in contention early in the second half. PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD.
CHRIS Powell celebrated his three-year anniversary as Charlton manager with a hard-fought comeback as his side drew with Oxford United in the FA Cup.
First half goals from Johnny Mullins and Scott Davies stunned the Championship side at The Valley in their first game since new owner Roland Duchatelet purchased the club.
But Michael Morrison’s second half header and Yann Kermorgant’s acrobatic volley ensured Charlton’s comeback to make it five games unbeaten for the Addicks.
The draw means the two clubs will now have a replay at the Kassam Stadium to see who earns a fourth round fixture away to Huddersfield.
It was only Charlton’s second game of 2014 due to a build-up of postponed fixtures and they started poorly.
A good break from the away side saw James Constable released into space down the right before his cross was deflected out for a corner.
United then took a surprise lead in the 13th minute as the resulting corner found Mullins, whose deflected effort dribbled past Ben Hamer into the bottom corner.
Powell’s side were struggling to find a way into the game and The Valley’s increasingly poor playing surface certainly played its part but Charlton seemed unable to keep possession.
Oxford doubled their lead in the 24th-minute through a fine finish from Davies’ with his first goal of the season.
Jordan Cousins was caught in possession inside his own half before Constable picked up the ball and slipped in Davies to fire a low drive past Hamer.
Things were in danger of slipping away from Charlton and Sean Rigg went close to putting the game beyond them before half-time but could only fire over from 20 yards.
The Addicks lacked ideas going forward and were forced to claim half-hearted penalty shouts in their fruitless search for a goal.
League Two promotion candidates Oxford’s continued to look dangerous and their impressive run of 10 away games unbeaten looked certain to continue as the first-half ended.
It took Charlton 50 minutes to get their first shot on goal as Kermorgant brought a routine save out of Oxford keeper Ryan Clarke.
The hosts then went one better just four minutes later as Morrison headed in from a Jordan Cook cross to pull one back.
The home side were soon in the ascendency and continued to threaten as Jackson forced another save out of Clarke.
Oxford still looked dangerous, though, and Hamer did well to tip a Constable header just round the post in the 59th minute.
It was Charlton who continued to look the most likely to get the next goal as the fixture progressed and they pinned Oxford back.
Jackson was inches away from equalising with a strong header from a dangerous Callum Harriott cross but saw it float just wide.
It looked like Charlton may have to find something special to grab the equaliser and that’s exactly what they got just eight minutes from time.
Great skill from Danny Green allowed him to deliver an accurate cross that was met with an acrobatic volley from Kermorgant to level the match.
Harriott looked to have got the winner in the dying stages only to see his header cleared off the line by Oxford defender David Hunt.
But Oxford held on to ensure the two sides meet once again to decide who will finally face Huddersfield in round four.
Charlton: Hamer, Wilson, Wood, Morrison, Wiggins, Pritchard (Green 67), Cousins, Jackson, Church (Piggot 78), Kermorgant, Cook (Harriott 78). Subs not used: Pope, Hughes, Evina, Dervite. Att: 5,566.
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