QUEENS Park Rangers slumped to a pitiful late defeat as Harry Redknapp hammered another nail in the promotion coffin.
Rangers were tactically disastrous on a pitch that resembled more of an allotment – with a glut of possession never truly presenting the visitors with any opportunities.
Charlton defended valiantly throughout and deserved their opening at the death when Johnny Jackson nodded beyond Rob Green and secured three priceless points.
The visitors used their possession wastefully and seemed contented to roll the ball around without any direction or purpose and slumped to a frankly pathetic defeat.
Harry Redknapp named four changes from the side that lost dismally at home to Reading. Benoit Assou Ekotto, Joey Barton, Niko Kranjcar and Will Keane dropped out with Nedum Onuoha, Tom Carroll, Ravel Morrison and Jermaine Jenas coming in.
Rob Green started behind a defence of Aaron Hughes, Richard Dunne, Onuoha and Clint Hill. Carroll and Jenas started centrally with Junior Hoilett, Morrison and Armand Traore playing behind Kevin Doyle.
Charlton started with Yohann Thuram-Ulien playing behind a defence of Lawrie Wilson, Michael Morrison, Dorian Dervite and Rhoys Wiggins. The midfield quartet consisted of Danny Green, Jordan Cousins and Johnny Jackson with Simon Church partnering Reza Ghoochannejhad.
KICK OFF: CHARLTON ATHLETIC v QUEENS PARK RANGERS
An important fixture for both teams was underlined by the noisy atmosphere as the players took to the field. Rangers needed to get their season back on track after back to back defeats, while Charlton were rooted in the mire at the foot of the table.
Rangers started by holding possession comfortably on a boggy and bare surface but never really threatening Thuram-Ulien’s goal – defending in numbers the Addicks were doing well at snuffing out any clear cut chances.
For all Rangers possession play they should have been behind when Jordan Cousins’ rifled effort beat Green all ends up and cannoned back off the post. With the goal at his mercy Reza Ghoochannejhad placed the ball back off the other upright as it was hacked to safety.
An astounding miss that could have proven to a be turning point. Traore’s smart play and centre fell kindly for Tom Carroll who showed poor execution with his head in the sky and steered the ball into the stands.
Rangers were struggling to break through a stern back line and only pot shots from distance from Ravel Morrison and Jermaine Jenas provided any reason for optimism. Referee Eddie Ilderton also waved away appeals for a penalty as Nedum Onuoha steamed into the area.
Rangers maintained their dominance of the ball but couldn’t construct any meaningful opportunities with Carroll and Jenas contented to use Richard Dunne as opposed to creating anything meaningful themselves.
Junior Hoilett was having little joy down the flank and was being very ably marshalled by Wiggins. Looking to cut inside at every opportunity, the wide-man was cut down by some experienced defending.
The two sides went into the break level and with Rangers having the wealth of possession, the Addicks will have been given heart by the fact that the visitors – cheered on by over 3000 followers – had creating absolutely nothing.
HALF TIME: CHARLTON ATHLETIC 0-0 QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Harry Redknapp will have surely asked his players to amend their approach and create opportunities – either that did not happen or it fell on deaf ears as the players went about their merry way much like in the opening half.
Creating nothing in the way of chances against a goalkeeper that kicked virtually every set-piece out of play, Redknapp elected to replace Junior Hoilett with Will Keane. Hoilett’s lack of performance on the flank served to compound the limited amount of opportunities.
Kevin Doyle stole a march on Dervite to get in behind and his centre for Ravel Morrison who sliced wide – a rare effort on goal for the uninspiring visitors. The hosts were given heart by a poor visitors performance and commenced an assault on the Rangers goal.
A fine, free-flowing move culminated in Church laying off for Jackson whose left footed-drive flew wide of the right hand upright. A rare attack but certainly a dangerous one. Redknapp responded by throwing on Modibo Maiga for Kevin Doyle.
The system was unrecognisable. Traoré playing as an out and out left winger, but with Aaron Hughes left completely isolated on the other flank. In fairness to the defender both he and Onuoha were expect to construct the bulk of Rangers attack – tactically mystifying.
Rangers were nearly gifted the opener – a harmless pass back to Thuram-Ulien saw the ‘keeper pass straight at Maiga. The loanee attempted to round the keeper but could only run the ball aimlessly out of play, rather epitomising the game thus far.
A third change saw Carroll mercifully hauled off for Benayoun. The young midfielder might one day be a good player – but not today or indeed any other day this season. Benayoun by comparison did little to inspire.
Rangers could have won it when Morrison agonisingly controlled a Traoré cross straight into the grateful arms of Thuram-Ulien. A guilt edge chance missed by the visitors and Charlton took the impetus and deservedly won a dour fixture.
Substitute Asrit Ajdarevic saw a powerful drive well saved by Green high to his left but from the resultant corner the Addicks struck. The aforementioned Ajdarevic sent in a set piece that eventually fell to JOHNNY JACKSON who nodded into the ground and into the roof of the net.
Rangers fans – who had been relatively patient – elicited some booing at the final whistle as the players appeared anxious not to cross the halfway line and face the 3000 strong support. Disastrous selection and tactics was firmly compounded by a limp and lifeless display.
FINAL WHISTLE: CHARLTON ATHLETIC 1-0 QUEENS PARK RANGERS