Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Punished for Defensive Lapses; Hartlepool 0 Charlton Athletic 2

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Punished for Defensive Lapses; Hartlepool 0 Charlton Athletic 2

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

TWO years after last tasting Premier League football, Charlton Athletic are no longer what they once were.

This season's League One is cluttered by teams who until recently were mixing in far more glamorous surroundings.

Even the "krbs" logo on Charlton's shirt seems like a painful reminder of the 'Curbs' era. But the Addicks are now in rehab and although the personnel has changed completely, some of the habits picked up before their demise remain, as Hartlepool discovered on Saturday. For 70 minutes at Victoria Park, Hartlepool more or less matched their visitors, and in the final 20 they stepped up the pressure on Charlton's goal. The only problem was, the game had gone by then. Pool made a first-half mistake, followed by a lapse in concentration. In the Premier League such errors are costly, in League One often not. But Charlton pounced to cut short Hartlepool's unbeaten start to the season.

Charlton's midfield grew in stature but did not translate into any serious pressure on Scott Flinders' goal. Hartlepool created that for them. Chasing the ball near the corner flag, Sam Collins could only hoist it into a blustery wind.

"Sam tried to keep the ball in play rather than put it into the stands," said manager Chris Turner. "Being at home he tried to appease people, away from home he'd have kicked it into row Z like we have in the last two games."

When Steve Haslam tried to head the ball back to Flinders, he only dabbed it to Deon Burton, who chipped over the stranded Flinders. Adam Boyd quickly forced a save at the other end but Pool needed to focus on battening down the hatches and instead allowed Lloyd Sam a cross Nick Bailey nodded in. Twenty-seven minutes gone, game over.

Their inability to deal with another right-wing cross went unpunished in the 56th minute thanks to Andy Monkhouse's goalline clearance. Denis Behan's free-kick, Anthony Sweeney's shot and Monkhouse's header from a long throw forced good late saves. …

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