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Charlton 0-1 Barnsley
Barnsley keeper Ben Alnwick makes a fine stop from Abdul Razak's free-kick. PICTURES BY ALAN STANFORD.
THE VALLEY was packed on Football for a Fiver day but it was Barnsley who spoiled the party as Tomasz Cywka scored the only goal of the game in the 64th minute.
Addicks boss Chris Powell named an unchanged starting XI from the side which beat Blackpool 2-0 on the road a fortnight ago.
The only change came on the bench where skipper Johnnie Jackson returned in place of Scott Wagstaff, who has joined Leyton Orient on loan since that Blackpool success.
It was a quiet start by both sides, although Cywka tested Ben Hamer with a low drive that the home keeper dealt with easily.
Ricardo Fuller threaded a delightful low pass through to Abdul Razak but David Perkins got back well to intercept and the chance was gone.
Chris Solly made a crucial block to prevent Craig Davies’ shot testing Hamer but immediately Charlton went on the attack and were awarded a free-kick just outside of the area when Razak was tripped but Danny Green’s effort went straight into the Barnsley wall.
Charlton had a lucky escape when Davies’ cross from the left wasn’t dealt with by Michael Morrison and came to Chris Dagnall, but he couldn’t control the ball in the six yard box and Hamer gathered.
The hosts had been largely lacklustre in the first half but they came close to breaking the deadlock three minutes before the break when Razak’s 25 yard free-kick was flying in until Barnsley keeper Ben Alnwick pushed it behind for a corner.
Alnwick had to tip over another free-kick moments later, this time taken by Dale Stephens out wide on the left.
There was a double change at the interval as Jackson and Bradley Wright-Phillips came on for Danny Holands and Razak.
Barnsley almost went in front on 54 minutes when Jacob Mellis’ free-kick into the danger zone picked out Dagnall in the six-yard box, but he lifted his shot well over the bar.
The Tykes fans in the Jimmy Seed Stand shouted in unison for a penalty as Leon Cort scrambled the danger clear from Cywka’s attempt but the referee was having none of it and play continued.
But the visitors didn’t have much longer to wait for their goal and went in front on 64 minutes as Cywka brushed aside Green and then unleashed a shot from a tight angle which beat Hamer.
It came as no surprise when Green was replaced by Bradley Pritchard four minutes later after his mistake.
Solly appealed for a penalty after going to ground in the area and then Stephens drilled a low shot just wide of the target as Charlton finally woke up.
They were dealt a blow, however, when Fuller limped off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, leaving the Addicks to play the final 10 minutes plus stoppage time with 10 men having already used all three substitutes.
There was a mad goalmouth scaramble in the Barnsley box but the visitors somehow survived the scare and then Pritchard had a low drive saved by Alnwick.
Dagnall almost added a spectacular second with a 25 yard shot that went just wide in the first of four minutes of stoppage time.
Right at the death Stephens’ free-kick prompted Hamer to come forward but it came to nothing and Charlton went down to their third home defeat in four games.
Not what the returning thousands paid their fiver to see.
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Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Morrison, Cort, Wilson, Green (Pritchard 68), Stephens, Hollands (Jackson 46), Razak (Wright-Phillips 46), Kerkar, Fuller. Subs not used: Button, Evina, Hulse, Dervite. Att: 26,185.