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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 08 Feb 14 at 17:00 PM

The Report: Charlton Athletic 0 Blues 2

Federico Macheda continued his dream start to his loan spell at Birmingham City with a goal in either half at The Valley.

The Italian, on loan from Manchester United, struck in the 22nd and 79th to hand Lee Clark's side a much-needed three points in south London.

Emry Huws' excellent free-kick from the right picked out Macheda's head for the first before the midfield engine of Tom Adeyemi helped to carve out the striker's second.

Charlton will feel bitterly disappointed to have not taken something from this game as they dominated in large parts on an energy-sapping pitch.

This was a gritty performance from Blues with Clark getting his tactics spot on against the struggling yet dangerous Addicks.

Naturally on Charlton's weather-battered, heavy pitch it was always going to be difficult for either side to fully settle into this game.

The first real chance fell the way of the hosts in the 13th minute as Lawrie Wilson's free-kick from deep was nodded down by Richard Wilson for Astrit Ajdarevic whose tame shot was straight at the excellent Darren Randolph.

Macheda showed a glimpse of what was about to come three minutes later when he found space in the box to be on the receiving end of a Paul Caddis cross only to clip his shot just wide of the mark.

Then came the 22nd minute opener as Manchester City and Manchester United loanees combined. Huws' precise corner found Macheda six yards out for a glancing header.

Charlton were rattled and could have been two down before the half-an-hour mark. Olly Lee's throughball finding Chris Burke ghosting in down the right side of the area only for goalkeeper Yohann Thuram to race out and get a vital touch.

At that point, it looked like Blues had blown their chance of getting a decisive second as Chris Powell's side cranked things up a gear.

Fortunately for Blues, Randolph remains in fine form and didn't want to disappoint back on his old stomping ground. The Republic of Ireland international was called into action to deny Jordan Cousins, Ajdarevic and skipper Johnnie Jackson as the first-half drew to a close.

The game continued in the same vein after the break with Randolph required to deal with an awkwardly deflected Reza effort from 18 yards in the 54th minute.

Blues were largely relying on counter attacks and as Adeyemi sent a low shot just wide of the post, Charlton were quickly down the other end as Marvin Sordell's hopeful swerving shot from distance was smothered by Randolph. 

Despite Charlton's dominance at times, a second Blues goal was never out of the question. When Burke cut in from the right only to force Thuram into a decent save from a narrow angle and the subsquent corner was nodded just wide by Adeyemi in the 68th minute, it was easy to sense that more joy was on the horizon for the 1,700+ Bluenoses in attendance.

Then came an example of Adeyemi's athletic brilliance. The former Norwich City man stole the ball off the toes of Charlton sub Danny Green in his own half and searched towards the Addicks box. That's when space opened up for him to play in Macheda who made the poacher-liked finish.

It could have swiftly been a hat-trick for the 22-year-old but he was just inches away from Burke's low ball across the face of goal  in the 81st minute. 

The tiring Macheda was substituted to a standing ovation from the travelling fans in the 88th minute as Peter Lovekrands saw out the closing moments of another enjoyable away day for Blues.

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