Charlton Athletic 1 QPR 1
PUBLISHED: 10:43 29 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:26 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky THERE was a general feeling of disappointment as Rangers departed The Valley, but it was still their best Boxing Day for several years. The Rs had lost all four of their previous December 26 fixtures since returning to the second tier in 2004
By Ben Kosky
THERE was a general feeling of disappointment as Rangers departed The Valley, but it was still their best Boxing Day for several years.
The Rs had lost all four of their previous December 26 fixtures since returning to the second tier in 2004 - yet struggling Charlton certainly seemed ripe for plucking three points rather than just the one.
The Addicks were utterly atrocious in the first half, incapable of stringing together any moves of substance, and the visitors should have punished them with more than Lee Cook's sweetly-struck free-kick in the 18th minute.
Dexter Blackstock got in between two Charlton defenders to force a save from rookie goalkeeper Rob Elliot, who also produced a superb point-blank save from Samuel Di Carmine just before half-time.
But the transformation in the body language of the Charlton players was astonishing after they drew level just four minutes into the second period.
Lloyd Sam turned inside Matthew Connolly and floated an excellent cross into the penalty area for Nicky Bailey to storm in and beat Radek Cerny with a header.
Suddenly the Rangers defence came under pressure, with Peter Ramage in particular enduring a difficult time, and it was against the run of play that they regained the lead midway through the second half.
Mikele Leigertwood flicked a ball over the top and Blackstock gave Mark Hudson the slip, collecting the pass and calmly tucking it beyond Elliot for his 11th goal of the season.
Cerny looked equal to everything Charlton pumped into his penalty area - until, with 11 minutes to go, his weak punch met a long throw and the ball fell for Bailey to nod home his second equaliser.
In a frantic finish, the match could have tilted either way, with Sam heading Grant Basey's cross wide and Emmanuel Ledesma's thumping finish ruled out for a push by Blackstock after Heidar Helguson's effort had hit the post.
QPR: Cerny; Ramage, Hall, GORKSS*, Connolly; Alberti (Ephraim 61), Leigertwood, Rowlands; Cook (Ledesma 67); Blackstock, Di Carmine (Helguson 81). Subs not used: Mahon, Agyemang.