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Baker Sees Red In Mass Brawl

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Charlton Athletic

Edgeley Park

Saturday 11th December '09/3pm

Attendance: 4271


Carl Baker was red-carded in a last-minute mass brawl at Edgeley Park as Charlton Athletic escaped with a barely deserved 2-1 win, meaning 8 straight league defeats for the Hatters.

Michael Rose was left out of the squad after it was discovered that the left-back has a double hernia which will need to be operated on.

Matty McNeil came in at centre-back.

Talk of a protest against Sale Sharks, Mark Maguire, Jim Melrose or anyone didn't really come to fruition (surprisingly!), apart from a few half-hearted chants against Sale and Kennedy.

Athletic took the lead when Sam Sodje was given too much room to head home from a corner in front of the Cheadle End in the first half.

A poor first-half performance all round from the Hatters was almost dispelled when Carl Baker's ball into the box evaded everyone and Nick Bignall was free at the far post, unluckily the on-loan striker couldn't make any contact.

County started the second-half brightly, and Peter Thompson nearly equalised but his header was grasped by the Addicks keeper.

For large periods of the second half, County did look like the higher-placed team than Athletic, but the final piece of quality wasn't there for all the build-up, as it so clearly was for Charlton.

This was emphasised late on as Scott Wagstaff confidently finished off a brilliant passing move, tucking the ball away into fon Williams' far corner.

As we've seen so many times this season, the second goal completely knocked the stuffing out of the young Hatters, who seemingly just gave up the ghost and started hoofing the ball long.

With the game appearing to fizzle out, 4 minutes of added time was announced and suddenly it sparked back into life.

Danny Pilkington whipped in a high ball on the left hand side which crashed off the crossbar and hit the Addicks keeper on the back and rolled over the line for an own goal.

The County fans were vibrant and a free kick was awarded on the halfway line, which is when the melee ensued.

Charlton sub Akpo Sodje wouldn't move the full 10 yards back from the free kick, so Paul Turnbull helpfully shoved him on his way, which skipper Nicky Bailey took offence to and grabbed Turnbull by the throat. About 18 players all steamed in at this point, Carl Baker squaring up to Bailey and eventually flooring him and receiving a red card.

Getting the big-club treatment though, Charlton were not reprimanded at all even though Bailey, Sodje and Wagstaff ALL threw punches and slaps.

Eventually, the free-kick came to nothing and that was that.

And you know what happened then? All this talk of a protest or some sort of action?

Nothing. We all went home after applauding the team off.

Just another week...

Star Player

Carl Baker - Aside from the last two minutes, Baker was a class apart for The Hatters. Guilty of holding onto the ball for too long sometimes but he was superb today for the most part, all of County's chances coming through Baker. A mention, a bit surprisingly, also goes to Matty McNeil who was excellent at the back.

Date:Saturday December 12 2009
Time: 6:22PM

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