Evans disappointed as Leeds United draw at Charlton

Despite some strong attacking play in the second half Leeds United had to settle for a point from their trip to Charlton.
Tom Adeyemi goes close at The Valley. PIC: Bruce RollinsonTom Adeyemi goes close at The Valley. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Tom Adeyemi goes close at The Valley. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Head coach Steve Evans reckoned the Whites could have come away 4-0 winners, but United were unable to hit the target and ended up with a goalless draw to drop down a place to 18th in the Sky Bet Championship.

Maybe surprisingly Evans did not make any changes to his starting line-up, although they had beaten Hull City last week, as he had Gaetano Berardi available again after suspension.

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Scott Wootton remained at right-back, but he was taken off early in the second half and replacement Berardi also had to off late on after being injured in a heavy tackle.

Charlton made the better start with Reza Ghoochannejhad hitting an effort just wide then seeing a shot from outside the box go over.

Leeds keeper Marco Silvestri then denied Ademola Lookman before United had their first serious effort, Alex Mowatt’s free-kick being saved by home keeper Stephen Henderson.

United’s play improved and Chris Wood saw a deflected shot go over. Lewis Cook also sent a shot just wide.

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Silvestri saved from Ghoochannejhad and the first half ended with Leeds attacking and Mowatt volleying over.

The second half initially saw the hosts on the attack and Silvestri had to make a fine save to gather a low shot by Johnnie Jackson.

But Leeds then gradually got on top and Stuart Dallas’s low shot was well saved by Henderson and from the resulting corner Charlie Taylor hit a shot over.

Silvestri did make a great save to keep out a goalbound Ricardo Vaz Te effort, but the Whites were back on attack when Tom Adeyemi fired wide from Cook’s pull back and Cook himself saw a shot that hit team-mate Wood.

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Their best chance came 10 minutes from time when sub Jordan Botaka played in Adeyemi only for the midfielder to hit the post.

Berardi hit an effort over after Henderson had dropped a cross into his path, but it was not to be for United and they had to make do with a point.

Evans thought he should have been going home with all three points.

He said: “I was frustrated. I had Mirco Antenucci warming up for 25 minutes. We just had so much dominance and were making such good chances.

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“I know there is the argument that you put the striker on, he might get the goal, but I would have had to change shape and that might have changed the flow of the game.

“We were just so far in control. I said to the players that they did something special in the second half today.

“I thought the second half today was better than the first half against Hull, the one difference being the one that matters. They scored twice against Hull, they could not find the net today. We had blocks on the line, we had crosses in.

“I was really thrilled with some of the one or two touch in the final third, as it is what we have been working on. As the head coach, you take some glee from that. You say look, that is what you work on Monday to Friday.

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“In the first half, there was nothing in the game. It developed into a little midfield battle.

“I explained it to the players, to Tom Adeyemi, to Lewis Cook, to Liam Bridcutt, at half-time as being like having a new baby. You caress it. Then move it around quickly.”

Match facts

Charlton Athletic 0

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sky Bet Championship

Attendance: 15,867

Charlton: Henderson, Solly, Diarra, Lennon, Holmes-Dennis, Cousins, Jackson (Makienok 81), Gudmundsson, Reza (Ba 81), Lookman, Vaz Te (Ahearne-Grant 88). Leeds: Silvestri, Wootton (Berardi 48, Byram 90+3)), Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Dallas, Cook, Adeyemi, Bridcutt, Mowatt (Botaka 63), Wood.

Referee: Andy Davies.