FA Cup 3rd Rnd Replay: West Bromwich Albion 2 Charlton Athletic 2 (West Brom win 4-3 on pens)
West Bromwich Albion booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out. Tony Mowbray’s side threw away a two-goal lead in normal time but they finally overcame plucky Charlton on spot kicks.
Roman Bednar despatched the winning penalty as Albion won 4-3 on spot kicks; Jonathan Greening missing for Albion while Luke Varney and Zheng Zhi were unable to find the net from 12 yards for Charlton.
It was a position Albion should not have found themselves in as the match should have been sewn up when Morrison put them 2-0 following Bednar’s opener, but once again their defensive frailties came to the fore as Darren Ambrose and substitute Chris Dickson pulled the Londoners back into the tie.
Albion boss Tony Mowbray made wholesale changes to the side that beat Hull City 3-1 at the KC Stadium on Saturday.
Bednar, Zoltan Gera and Filipe Teixeira were all restored to the starting line-up while Martin Albrechsten made his first start since November 6 after recovering from injury. He replaced Paul Robinson, who served the first of a two-game ban following his second red card of the season at Hull. Top scorer Kevin Phillips was rested completely while Robert Koren and Chris Brunt dropped to the bench.
After a lacklustre start to the game, Albion sprung to life in the 14th minute and took the lead. Captain Greening, who has been Albion’s most influential player this season, jinked down the right and whipped a superb cross to the back post.
Teixeira rose superbly to plant a powerful header down into the six-yard box and Bednar side-footed the ball home from close range for his ninth goal in as many games.
Bednar was Albion’s biggest threat in the first half and he had a gilt-edged chance just before the break when he was presented with a free header six yards out from a Texiera free kick on the touchline but he glanced his header wide.
Albion certainly didn’t have it all their own way and, if it had not been for some wasteful finishing, Alan Pardew’s men would have gone into the break on level terms, Luke Varney squandering their best chance.
Albion doubled their lead six minutes after the restart thanks to some determined play from Teixiera. He ghosted down the right past Moutaouakil, gave the ball away but then won it back before teeing up Morrison who picked out the bottom corner with a superb right-footed strike to register his second goal in consecutive games.
Charlton hit back in the 64th minute when Darren Ambrose played in substitute Chris Iwelumo. Kiely was out quickly to save at the Charlton striker’s feet but Ambrose followed up to stab the loose ball into the net.
With 20 minutes to go Albion survived an almighty scare as Kiely’s sliced clearance was seized upon by Izael Mcleod who played in Iwelumo but Kiely denied him and then produced another brave save as the ball bounced menacingly around the Albion penalty area before being cleared.
Albion continued to live dangerously and Lloyd Sam latched on to an Albrechtsen mistake and his shot beat Kiely but slid wide of the far post.
Albion substitute Sherjill MacDonald had a wonderful chance to kill off the tie in the final minutes when he was picked out by a great Chris Brunt cross but he sent a free header wide with the goal at his mercy. But Charlton’s persistence paid off in added time when Dickson got the finishing touch after Sam had helped on a Zheng Zhi cross.
Weaver pulled off a superb save to bravely deny MacDonald in the first period of added time after great work from Koren and Bednar, and a Brunt shot was deflected wide.
Dickson almost won the game for the visitors in the second period when he beat Kiely to a ball outside the area but his shot from an acute angle hit the side netting. The Charlton substitute also struck a post after another breakaway.
Scorers: Bednar (14) 1-0; Morrison (51) 2-0; Ambrose (64) 2-1, Dickson (90) 2-2.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION (4-4-2): Kiely; Hoefkens, Barnett, Greening, Bednar, Gera (Koren, 74), Albrechtsen, Miller (MacDonald, 84), Teixeira (Teixeira, 74), Pele, Morrison. Subs: Steele, Hodgkiss.
CHARLTON (4-4-2): Weaver; Moutaouakil, Youga, McCarthy, Bougherra, Sam, Ambrose (Thomas, 71), Holland (Dickson, 83), Zhi, Varney, McLeod (Iwelumo, 63). Subs: Randolph, Semedo.
Referee: Michael Jones (Cheshire).
Bookings: Albion — Gera (foul); Charlton — Moutaouakil (foul).
Albion man of the match: Jonathan Greening — hardly gave the ball away all evening.