since 1878

Charlton Athletic (1) 1 - 0 (0) Ipswich Town

Division 1 Play-Off Semi-Final, 2nd Leg 1997-98

Wednesday, May 13, 1998

Referee: E Wolstenholme

Manager: Unknown

The Valley

Attendance: 15,585

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2747




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Match Report

Charlton Athletic 1 Ipswich Town 0

Charlton Athletic, a club who have suffered more than their fair share of problems in recent seasons, are within one match of a coveted place in the Premiership after they qualified for the First Division play-off final in a gripping game at the Valley last night.

Shaun Newton's outstanding first-half goal had extended the advantage created by the first-leg own goal conceded by Jamie Clapham four days earlier at Portman Road and they will now meet Sunderland at Wembley on May 25.

Charlton were missing two key players. Danny Mills, sent off in the first leg, was suspended while a more serious absentee was Clive Mendonca, who was ruled out after failing a late fitness test.

However, despite the absence of the inspirational 25-goal striker, Charlton controlled the first half and were given an extra advantage when, in the 35th minute, Newton brought the crowd to their feet by claiming an outstanding goal.

It was no more than Charlton deserved, for in a first half in which their goal was seldom threatened, they were unfortunate not to claim a greater advantage.

The ill feeling from the first leg of the tie was evident again; when Bobby Petta fell following an innocuous challenge from Mark Bowen, three fans in the North Stand held up placards proclaiming 9.5, 10, 9.5.

Ipswich threatened briefly when Kieron Dyer headed just over, but Charlton soon began to take control and in the 17th minute Mark Bright, their veteran striker, brought a fine save out of Richard Wright, the Ipswich goalkeeper, who leapt to his left to keep his side in the game.

Soon afterwards, Bright forced Wright to save again but Ipswich responded when Alex Mathie took advantage of a poor clearance by Eddie Youds.

His drive, from 20 yards, was tipped over by Sasa Ilic. Charlton, able to attack down both flanks, eventually claimed the goal they deserved, in the 35th minute.

Ipswich were penalised when Mark Venus fouled Mark Kinsella and, from the free-kick, the ball fell to Newton, who took it across the penalty area before dispatching a left-foot drive beyond the outstretched arm of Wright and into the top left-hand corner.

In first half added time Charlton were unfortunate not to extend their two-goal aggregate advantage when Neil Heaney sent a free-kick to Youds and his header thumped against the outside of the right-hand post.

Immediately after the goal Ipswich had made a substitution, replacing Mick Stockwell with Danny Sonner and early in the second half, in an attempt to improve their attacking options, they brought on James Scowcroft for Mathie.

Then, with the prospect of a Wembley visit beckoning, Charlton sat back and allowed Ipswich to attack.

In the 58th minute David Johnson met a cross from Gus Uhlenbeek but his header was held comfortably by Ilic.

With 10 minutes remaining Steve Jones had the chance to make doubly certain of a Wembley place but the striker drove over from 15 yards and was immediately substituted by Paul Mortimer.

Daily Telegraph

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