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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 February 2006, 16:56 GMT
Charlton 0-0 Aston Villa
Gareth Barry (r) and Radostin Kishishev
Barry holds off the attention of Charlton's Kishishev
Charlton and Aston Villa shared a goalless draw in an uninspiring battle at The Valley.

Darren Bent was the Addicks' dangerman in the first half in front of the watching eyes of England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The striker's best chance saw him thwarted by Villa keeper Thomas Sorensen when clean through on goal.

James Miller went closest for Villa but his curling effort was diverted around the post by goalkeeper Thomas Myhre.

Charlton held the upper hand in the first half, just edging Villa in the possession stakes and looking lively in attack.

Darren Bent proved to be the bright spark for the hosts and was denied on three occasions by Sorensen.

First he saw his far-post header saved down low on the line on the quarter-hour mark before he was denied his 18th goal of the season after being put through by strike partner Marcus Bent.

Despite holding off the attentions of Liam Ridgewell, his low strike across the face of goal was again saved well by Sorensen.

And his third chance, a curling effort from the edge of the area, was again dealt with by the visitors' keeper.

While Darren Bent was running the show for Charlton in attack, Villa had a couple of half chances to break the deadlock.

Bryan Hughes' stabbed clearance in front of goal prevented a goalscoring opportunity for Aaron Hughes.

And on the stroke of half-time Milner's perfectly-placed curler was diverted past the post by the out-stretched arm of Myhre.

Villa boss David O'Leary was forced to reshuffle his outfit when Luke Moore replaced the injured Aaron Hughes at the break.

Miller was switched to the left-flank with Moore taking over duties on the right side of midfield.

The change seemed to work in Villa's favour early on with Olof Mellberg and Ridgewell going close with headers, while Darren Ambrose at the other end forced Sorensen into action again from a sweet 16-yard strike.

As the second half progressed, a stalemate looked to be the eventual outcome although Charlton fans were given a slight scare when Radostin Kishishev almost put through his own net from a whipped-in Gareth Barry free-kick.

And Moore was unable to deliver an accurate cross for the lurking Milan Baros who was perfectly primed in front of goal as Moore's looping centre evaded the head of the Czech striker.

Charlton, who managed to hold Newcastle to a goalless draw in midweek, were never able to get back into their stride of the first half as Villa showed more ambition to seal the three points.

But with both teams keen to secure victory to improve their mid-table status, a draw proved to be a fair reflection of the game.

  • Charlton boss Alan Curbishley:

    "Darren will impress Sven with his finishing and I felt he was unlucky not to score at least one against Villa.

    "We've had a lot of football lately and Villa probably just edged it in the second half."

  • Villa boss David O'Leary:

    "We did well in the second half when I thought we just had the edge.

    "But it was largely a not very exciting and scrappy game.

    "We are happy with a point because we've had a few injuries and the fact that both clubs have similar budgetary restrictions came through in the game."

    Charlton: Myhre, Young, Perry, Hreidarsson, Spector, Ambrose, Kishishev, Holland (El Karkouri 72), Hughes (Euell 62), Marcus Bent (Bothroyd 57), Darren Bent.
    Subs Not Used: Andersen, Powell.

    Aston Villa: Sorensen, Hughes (Moore 45), Ridgewell, Mellberg, Samuel, Milner, Davis, McCann, Barry, Angel (Phillips 65), Baros.
    Subs Not Used: Taylor, Hendrie, Cahill.

    Booked: Barry.

    Att: 26,594

    Ref: C Foy (Merseyside).

    Premiership photos 25/02
    25 Feb 06 |  Photo Galleries


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