Charlton Athletic 0 Leeds United 0: Whites forced to settle for Addicks point

SO CLOSE: Leeds United's Tom Adeyemi clips the ball over keeper Stephen Henderson only to hit the outside of the post, missing a glorious chance to score. Picture by Tony Johnson.
SO CLOSE: Leeds United's Tom Adeyemi clips the ball over keeper Stephen Henderson only to hit the outside of the post, missing a glorious chance to score. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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Leeds United’s domination of the second-half at Charlton was not enough to secure a victory, the two sides playing out a goalless draw.

Tom Adeyemi had probably the best opportunity of the game but passed it up, striking the post with the goal inviting him to score. It was the closest Leeds came, although for the entire second period they looked the more likely to win the tie.

The only debate pre-match surrounding Leeds’ selection was whether Gaetano Berardi would replace Scott Wootton after returning from suspension. Steve Evans decided to stick with the team that had beaten Hull City, naming an unchanged 11, although Berardi replaced Lee Erwin on the bench.

A quiet opening 10 minutes was almost punctuated by a strike from Reza Ghoochannejhad, who latched on to a through ball into the area. He could only fire his shot just wide of the far post, although it was closer than would have been comfortable for Leeds. Marco Silvestri was then called into action three minutes later, palming away a Ademola Lookman shot after Charlton broke from a Leeds corner.

Leeds’ first real sight of goal came from an Alex Mowatt free-kick, although the 20-year-old belied his recent form from range, hitting a tame effort that Stephen Henderson collected. Good work down the right from Scott Wootton then gave Chris Wood an opportunity to fire at goal, but a combination of the tight angle and a deflection meant it never really threatened Henderson’s net.

It was a half lacking in quality, probably best summed up by Lewis Cook’s dragged effort when he had a sight of goal from range. Neither side could grab any sort of control of the game before the referee chose to bring the first period to an end.

Leeds started the second-half in much better style, Wood almost carving an opportunity for himself after plucking an excellent ball from Bellusci out of the air.

The game opened up, and when Johnnie Jackson’s effort was collected by Silvestri, it gave Leeds an excellent opportunity to break. Dallas burst down the left, his low cross into the area just missing Lewis Cook. Henderson was then called into action by Dallas, whose left-footed strike almost snuck in at the near post.

In the 70th minute, Charlton probably had the best chance of the half to that point. The ball trickled across the area with the entire Leeds defence letting it go past them, Ricardo Vaz Te latching onto it. However, Silvestri was equal to his low shot, tipping it around the post.

That is not to say Leeds did not threaten. Cook won the ball well on the edge of the box before playing it across for Adeyemi, but the Cardiff loanee’s shot was well wide. A minute later, excellent work down the left from Dallas put Cook in space in the area. His shot was unwittingly blocked by Wood, unaware of the effort hurtling at him.

Adeyemi then contrived to miss when scoring was probably the easier option. Wood was fed through, played the ball across the area before Cook worked it to Adeyemi. With the goal gaping, his effort bobbled before hitting the post and going wide. Leeds kept pushing, Dallas and Cook particularly impressive, although the ball never quite dropped for another clear cut opportunity.

From there, the game petered out, especially after Berardi had to be withdrawn on a stretcher in the first minute of added time.

Charlton Athletic: Henderson; Solly, Diarra, Lennon, Holmes-Dennis; Cousins, Jackson (Makienok, 81), Gudmundsson, Reza (Ba, 81); Lookman, Vaz Te (Ahearne-Grant, 88).

Unused subs: Pope, Fox, Sarr, Charles-Cook.

Leeds United: Silvestri; Wootton (Berardi, 48 (Byram, 90)), Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor; Dallas, Cook, Adeyemi, Bridcutt, Mowatt (Botaka, 63); Wood.

Unused subs: Peacock-Farrell, Murphy, Doukara, Antenucci.

Referee: A Davies (Hampshire).