Stalemate relegates Addicks
Charlton to play in third tier for first time in 29 years
Last Updated: 18/04/09 6:01pm
Shelvey: One for the future
Charlton bid farewell to life in the Championship with a 2-2 draw against Blackpool that confirmed their relegation.
Just two years ago Chalton were a Premier League side but next season will be lining up in English football's third tier for the first time in 29 years.
With the Addicks 12 points from safety with four games remaining, only a win would have kept afloat their slim hopes of survival. Blackpool striker Lee Hughes, on-loan from Oldham, ensured this would not be the case as he secured the Seasiders a precious point of their own with a last-gasp leveller.
Deon Burton and Jonjo Shelvey put Charlton 2-0 up, but DJ Campell's penalty and a stoppage-time equaliser from substitute Hughes secured a point for Blackpool - who are not yet out of the woods themselves.
Charlton have, in truth, been planning for League One for some time - the club-record 18-game winless streak under first, Alan Pardew, and current boss Phil Parkinson earlier in the season was always going to be too much to claw back.
And while 11 players are out of contract in the summer and more will be moved on, they will surely move heaven and earth to keep hold of 17-year-old Shelvey.
The midfielder ran Blackpool ragged, capping a fine display with a well-taken goal, and must be held on to if Charlton want to emulate Leicester and bounce straight back.
The Addicks dominated the first half but, as has been the case all season, lacked the finishing touch in front of goal.
Darren Ward headed Nicky Bailey's corner wide, Shelvey and Burton scooped shots over the crossbar and Zheng Zhi drove wide as the Addicks poured forward.
Bailey should have opened the scoring on the half-hour, but instead of shooting opted to pass to Lloyd Sam who could not get his shot away.
And while the score remains goalless, Charlton are always vulnerable and they were almost caught out when Campbell skipped past Mark Hudson only to fire over from eight yards.
But after the interval the Addicks made an immediate breakthrough when Burton met Sam's cross with a deft header which looped over Paul Rachubka and into the net.
And 90 seconds later they were two up when Zheng's clever chip fed Shelvey, who took a touch before firing an angled shot across Rachubka and into the far corner.
Blackpool pulled one back when Hudson brought down Campbell, who picked himself up to send Rob Elliot the wrong way from the penalty spot.
And in stoppage time a nervy Charlton rearguard back-tracked and allowed Claus Jorgensen to play in Hughes, who made no mistake with a curler from 12 yards to deny the hosts victory.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 18th Apr
Reading0 - 0Barnsley
Plymouth0 - 3Doncaster
N Forest1 - 0Coventry
Watford0 - 1Birmingham
Swansea1 - 0Bristol C
Sheff Wed2 - 0Southampton
Preston6 - 0Cardiff
Charlton2 - 2Blackpool
C Palace1 - 0Derby
Wolves1 - 0QPR
Sky Bet Championship
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|10||Brighton and Hove Albion||19||28|