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BBC Five Live's Nigel Addersley
reports from The Valley.
 real 14k

Saturday, 30 September, 2000, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK
Super Finnish thwarts Coventry
Jonatan Johansson
Flying Finn Johansson was well worth his late equaliser
Charlton 2-2 Coventry

Finnish international Jonatan Johansson rescued Charlton with a stunning 88th-minute equaliser after team-mate Richard Rufus appeared to have handed Coventry all three points.

The England under-21 defender spoiled an otherwise accomplished performance by inexplicably handling a Coventry corner midway through the second half.

Craig Bellamy dispatched the penalty with glee to claim his third goal since his 6.5m transfer from Norwich.

But Johansson had the final word when he connected with a superb bicycle kick from 15 yards. Coventry keeper Magnus Hedman was helpless as the ball flew into the bottom right-hand corner for the striker's seventh goal in eight games.


Jon isn't quite right yet, but that is seven goals in eight games and he could have had a hat-trick in midweek
  Charlton manager Alan Curbishley
Trailing to a John Aloisi first-half goal, the home side began the second half in far more determined fashion, and within one minute of the restart Johansson cut inside from the left to unleash a fierce shot that Hedman saved low to his right.

Encouraged by his first sight of goal, the Finn soon created even more difficulties for the Coventry defence.

Having skipped past his marker, Johansson beat the onrushing Hedman to the ball and chipped a shot onto the crossbar.

Any respite for Coventry, however, was temporary, as Andy Hunt stooped low to head home the rebound and claim Charlton's equaliser.

Improvement

The fare on offer in the second half was a vast improvement on the opening period's meagre rations.

Spooked, perhaps, by the prospect of moving into the Premiership's top three, Charlton made a nervous start.

John Aloisi
John Aloisi claimed Coventry's first goal
Coventry, on the other hand, unencumbered by such weight of expectation, looked more comfortable and fashioned the contest's first chances.

Youssef Chippo gave an indication of their attacking intent on 31 minutes when he let fly from 25 yards with a curling right-foot shot. Charlton keeper Dean Kiely athletically tipped the ball away for a corner.

Stung into life, Charlton finally started to string some passes together.

Counter-punch

But it was just as the home side were enjoying the best spell of the half that Coventry hit them with a classic counter-punch.

With the game 41 minutes old, John Eustace released the fast-breaking Chippo down the left and the Morrocan slipped the ball inside to Aloisi.


John Eustace is walking all the way back to Coventry. It was a great chance, but he made an honest mistake and those kind of things happen
  Coventry manager Gordon Strachan
With the pass going slightly behind him, and the imminent arrival of two Charlton defenders, the Australian striker appeared to have missed his chance. But his opportunistic toe poke sneaked under Kiely's despairing dive and trickled over the line.

The visitors almost doubled their lead two minutes later, when Graham Stuart was dispossessed in the centre circle by Eustace, giving Coventry a three-on-one break.

Eustace, however, pushed Bellamy a little too wide with his pass and the Welsh striker's shot lacked sufficient power to trouble Kiely.


Charlton: Kiely, Powell, Brown, Rufus, Konchesky (Shields, 78 mins), Johansson, Robinson (Salako, 46 mins), Jensen, Kinsella, Hunt (Lisbie, 61 mins), Stuart. Subs: Ilic, Shields, Todd.

Coventry: Hedman, Edworthy, Williams, Shaw, Chippo, Telfer, Palmer, Eustace, Aloisi (Roussel, 75 mins), Bellamy, Hall. Subs: Breen, Quinn, Hyldgaard, McPhee.

Referee: R Styles (Waterlooville)

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