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Sunday, 3 November, 2002, 18:02 GMT
Charlton hold Sunderland
Charlton's John Robinson celebrates Gary Rowett's equaliser
Charlton's Robinson celebrates Gary Rowett's equaliser
Charlton Athletic 1-1 Sunderland

Howard Wilkinson's Sunderland earned another hard-fought point on their travels in a dour draw at Charlton Athletic.

Tore Andre Flo looked to have given Sunderland three priceless points with a powerful early strike.

But Sunderland - as in their last away draw at Bolton Wanderers - were denied by a late leveller from Charlton's Gary Rowett.

It was a match desperately short on quality, although Wilkinson and his Charlton counterpart Alan Curbishley will both have been satisfied with a point in the end.

Charlton have struggled at home this season - and their problems worsened when Sunderland went ahead after 14 minutes.

Flo, who had already missed one chance, made no mistake with his second opportunity as he drilled a powerful drive past Dean Kiely from Kevin Phillips' lay-off.


We ran out of legs and that is something we have got to address
Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson

The strike gave Sunderland confidence, and Kevin Kilbane was narrowly off target as Wilkinson's side took command.

Sunderland could have doubled their advantage on the half-hour, when Phillips saw a header deflected from a corner, only for Scott Parker to scramble the ball off the line.

Charlton's Robinson challenges
Charlton's John Robinson challenges

Charlton needed to respond, and Sunderland defender Stephen Wright performed similar heroics to clear off the line from Claus Jensen.

Jensen then set up Parker, but Sunderland goalkeeper Jurgen Macho was alert to the danger and saved.


I think we definitely deserved a point
Charlton manager Alan Curbishley

Rowett thought he has equalised for Charlton as they pressed forward at the start of the second half, flighting a free-kick so close that many of the crowd inside The Valley thought it had gone in.

But Sunderland were still a threat and Kilbane saw a drive turned on to the bar and to safety by Kiely.

Phillips picked up the rebound in a dangerous position, and Sunderland were stunned when referee Dermot Gallacher awarded a corner, even though the ball was yards in play.

Charlton were desperate for an equaliser - and Rowett provided it 13 minutes from time.

Richard Rufus caused trouble with a long clearance, and when Euell turned the ball across the face of goal, Rowett was on hand to score from close range.

Flo almost snatched victory for Sunderland in injury time, but Kiely made a fine save from the Norwegian's header.


Charlton: Kiely, Rowett, Rufus, Fish, Robinson (Johansson 90), Parker (Kishishev 85), Mustoe, Jensen, Powell, Bartlett (Lisbie 73), Euell.
Subs Not Used: Roberts, Young.

Booked: Parker.

Sunderland: Macho, Wright, Bjorklund, Craddock, Babb, Kilbane, McCann, Thirlwell (Williams 65), Gray, Flo, Phillips (Piper 80).
Subs Not Used: Ingham, McCartney, Stewart.

Booked: McCann, Bjorklund, Williams, Wright.

Attendance: 26,284.

Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's David Oates
"Sunderland might feel they could have won"
Charlton boss Alan Curbishley
"We got ourselves in some great positions"
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