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16:59 28th August 2010


Town recorded their first home victory of the season this afternoon in a big League One clash against promotion contenders Charlton Athletic.

Jordan Rhodes, Jamie McCombe and Gary Roberts netted the goals on an afternoon that included two impressive debut performances from new signing Alan Lee and Academy graduate Liam Ridehalgh, with the only blip being a late consolation goal for the visitors.

Town were on the front foot early on, with young debutant Ridehalgh getting an early touch at left back. However, Alex Smithies was the first 'keeper forced into a save in the second minute when Johnnie Jackson's in-swinging corner looked to be dropping in at the far post.

The new strike partnership of Lee and Rhodes combined well in the 5th minute to create Town's first shooting opportunity. Lee turned Arfield's low pass around the corner to find his former Ipswich teammate, but although Rhodes was through on goal the angle was very acute and goalkeeper Worner was able to push the ball away with two strong hands.

Graham Carey then stepped up to take a free kick from a similar position that heralded his first Town goal at Peterborough last weekend after Jordan was brought down, but he sent his curling effort flying over the bar.

Right back Francis fired well over from 35 yards out for the Addicks soon afterwards before Rhodes got his head to Carey's out-swinging cross in the 11th minute, with 'keeper Worner easily claiming the ball.

Left winger Reid - a scorer in the corresponding fixture last season - started the game well in the early stages and his cross almost fell to forward Martin inside the area, but Antony Kay - restored to the starting line-up for the first time this season - did well to see the danger and make a vital interception.

Carey was back in the action again in the 19th minute, delivering a superb free-kick into the area from the left wing after Kay's run was halted by Wagstaff. His ball looked destined to hit the net with McCombe in close attendance at the near post, but the ball managed to evade everyone inside the area.

Charlton looked dangerous down the flanks and midfielder McCormack should have done better with Wagstaff's deep cross barely a minute later, deflecting the ball harmlessly wide with his head.

Lee's aerial power came to the fore in the 24th minute when Carey knocked another deep ball into the box from the left wing; he knocked the ball back across the face of goal where Jordan Rhodes jumped to nod the ball in, but the 'keeper did well to get up and fist the ball away.

The debutants combined moments later, with Ridehalgh's ball towards Lee allowing the big forward to chest the ball into the path of Rhodes; unfortunately, the striker scuffed his shot and the 'keeper gathered the ball in.

The strikers combined again in the 28th minute, with Lee nodding another long pass into the path of Rhodes. Unfortunately the ball bounced up at an awkward height and Rhodes could only hit his acrobatic volley well wide.

Town's best chance of the game came in the 31st minute courtesy of good work from Gary Roberts and Scott Arfield. Peter Clarke's interception on the edge of the Town box fired out to Robbo, who turned and skipped past a player before stumbling over the ball slightly; Arfield raced in to nip the ball off the toe of Semedo and drive into the area before playing a pass to the left for Carey, who's low drive flashed inches wide of the far post with the goalie beaten,

The lively Carey hit a long shot straight at Worner moments afterwards as Town continued to press.

GOAL - Town opened the scoring with a superbly crafted and taken goal in the 39th minute through Jordan Rhodes. The move started down the right channel, with Antony Kay winning a 50-50 ball in midfield and finding midfield partner Gudjonsson; Joey looked up and lifted a perfect ball over the top of the defence for Jordan Rhodes to run onto and with the 'keeper advancing, Jordan lifted the ball over him and into the vacant net from 25 yards.

Town were denied a penalty moments later when Rhodes looked to have been brought down by 'keeper Worner as he entered the area, but the referee gave a corner...

GOAL - From that corner, defender Jamie McCombe scored his first goal in Town colours in the 42nd minute. Gudjonsson's corner was cleared back out to the left and when the Icelander dummied the ball, Carey stepped up and delivered another pinpoint cross to the near post for the 6' 5" centre back to power his header past the goalkeeper.

BOOKING - Alan McCormack was booked moments after the second goal for a foul on Alan Lee.


Neither side made changes during the interval and Charlton enjoyed the first shot of the second half inside three minutes when Martin's overhead kick from Doherty's knock-down went comfortably wide.

Town launched their own attack soon after when Kay broke down the right flank to latch onto Lee's through ball and crossed to the near post, but Rhodes' snapshot was well blocked by Christian Dailly.

Charlton threatened in the 55th minute when a ball played in behind Arfield allowed winger Reid to run into the area and smash a volley towards goal, but luckily for Town his effort flew wide of the near post.

Rhodes showed good strength at the other end soon afterwards to hold off Doherty before playing the ball out wide for Carey and after the winger played the ball past a defender to enter the area, he was clattered into just as he looked to pull the trigger and could only toe-prod the ball at the 'keeper.

Roberts fired a powerful effort over the bar from long range on the hour mark before Smithies confidently claimed Charlton's free-kick delivered into the area soon afterwards.

The Terriers were working hard all over the pitch, with that effort personified by Gary Roberts in the 65th minute - after a Town attack broke down, he chased all the way back down the pitch to rob opposition winger Reid of the ball.

SUB - Lee Clark made his first change in the 67th minute, with goalscorer Rhodes replaced by Lee Novak in attack.

SUB - Former Town man Akpo Sodje replaced Scott Wagstaff in Charlton's first change on 71 minutes. This change saw Martin move out to a wide position, with Sodje partnering Abbott in the middle.

Danger-man Reid fired wide from the edge of the box soon afterwards.

BOOKING - Former Southend man Simon Francis was shown a yellow card soon afterwards for a pull on Graham Carey's shirt.

The Charlton right back almost scored an own goal from a deep Arfield cross moments after the restart, but 'keeper Worner managed to stop his momentum and check back to claim the ball as it tried to cross the line.

The visiting custodian had to be alert in the 78th minute to push away Lee's cross-come-shot from the left as the impressive striker tried to look for his first goal in the blue and white stripes.

Gudjonsson then fed Carey - who had switched to the right flank - a superb ball into the right edge of Charlton's area, but the winger skied his attempted curler.

Former Town man Pawel Abbott then produced a moment of magic inside the Town area with ten minutes left, turning Gudjonsson to make space for a left-footed shot that drifted wide of the far post.

GOAL - Town killed the game with a superb third goal in the 82nd minute, with Gary Roberts scoring his first of the season. The ball found its way to the Town left courtesy of a clever piece of play from new boy Lee, who outmuscled Martin and played the ball down the left channel for loanee Graham Carey; the winger looked up and floated an intelligent cross beyond the far post where his fellow wide-man ran onto the ball and powered an unstoppable volley past the helpless custodian from fifteen yards.

Lee curled a long range effort over the bar soon afterwards.

SUB - Lee Clark made his second substitution soon afterwards, with new boy Alan Lee getting a standing ovation as he left the field. Joe Garner was his replacement.

SUB - Charlton brought on Matt Fry for Johnnie Jackson two minutes later.

GOAL - Charlton scored a late consolation through Matt Fry. The young West Ham United loanee went on an enterprising run from his left-back slot, winning a 50-50 with Antony Kay, before sending a deflected shot past Smithies in front of his own fans.


Town's Team (4-4-2):

Alex Smithies; Liam Ridehalgh, Peter Clarke (c), Jamie McCombe, Scott Arfield; Graham Carey, Joey Gudjonsson, Antony Kay, Gary Roberts; Alan Lee (Joe Garner 87), Jordan Rhodes (Lee Novak 67)

Unused Subs: Ian Bennett, Damien Johnson, Lee Croft, Jim Goodwin, Chris Atkinson

Charlton Bookings: Alan McCormack (43), Simon Francis (73)

Gate: 13,858

Away: 405

    Data provided by Press Association


    Town was the first club to win three successive league titles in 1926. Only Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have matched this feat.