Earnshaw demolishes Addicks
By Tom Adams. Last Updated: March 19, 2005 4:45pm
West Brom gave their relegation hopes a massive boost as they beat Charlton 4-1 thanks to a Robert Earnshaw hat trick.
The Welsh striker struck three times after Charlton saw defender Talal El Karkouri dismissed in the first half for a terrible two-footed tackle on Zoltan Gera.
The visitors took the lead through Geoff Horsfield, although Charlton replied through Jonatan Johansson before El Karkouri was rightly red carded.
Earnshaw then stole the limelight, and the three points, as he took the game by the grip of the neck and netted twice before capping his performance with a late penalty.
West Brom took the initiative early on as Jonathan Greening looked to drive Robson's side on.
The midfielder found Ronnie Wallwork on the edge of the box, and his strong right foot drive was saved well by the Charlton keeper minutes before Greening unleashed a stinging, rising shot that Dean Kiely again had to tip round.
However the Charlton keeper was left helpless when West Brom capped their early dominance with the opening goal, as Horsfield headed in from close range.
The striker will see his name on the score-sheet although it was Zoltan Gera who deserved the credit after providing the assist by hooking a superb volleyed cross as the ball came over his shoulder.
The home side nearly pulled level five minutes later as Jonatan Johansson narrowly missed capitalising on a poor back header by Thomas Gaardsoe as Russell Hoult tipped his stab at goal round the post.
Gaardsoe was again at fault as Danny Murphy robbed him of possession in the penalty area, before his day ended early after being taken off for Darren Moore.
Gera went close with a deflected free kick before Charlton earned parity when Johansson made amends for his earlier miss.
The Icelandic international picked up a tremendous Jerome Thomas through ball and, as Hoult slid out to clear, Johansson was the beneficiary of a stroke of luck as the ball fell in his path for an easy finish.
Just as they were imposing themselves in the game, Charlton's efforts were undermined by a blatant red card for defender Talal El Karkouri.
His over-the-top two-footed challenge on Gera was painful to watch, and angered the West Brom players before El Karkouri justifiably received his marching orders.
The visitors failed to take advantage in what remained of the first half, although Wallwork and Richardson had speculative efforts.
The ten men nearly took an unlikely lead when Hermann Hreidarsson's goal-bound header was cleared on the line by Moore after a mix-up between Hoult and Neil Clement.
With a one man advantage West Brom were content hold onto the ball, and carved out two good chances in the early stages of the second half.
Horsfield could have added a second when his header went just over, then Paul Robinson shot wide from the left side of the penalty area when he should really have tested Kiely.
Robinson again went close from the same position as he hit Kevin Campbell's pass first time, and Gera then looped a curling shot wide of the right hand post as West Brom turned the screw.
However Alan Curbishley's side were not finished, and Jerome Thomas reminded the visitors that they had to remain alert as he jinked inside and delivered an incisive cross that Bartlett agonisingly headed straight at Hoult.
Robson looked to freshen things up and brought on Earnshaw, who duly rewarded his manager by putting Albion ahead on 73 minutes.
Robinson swung in a deep cross which Horsfield knocked back to Earnshaw, and the diminutive striker arched back mid-flight to direct his header into the Charlton net.
It was Earnshaw who was providing the attacking momentum as he grabbed a second, questioning the wisdom of Robson starting him on the bench in the first place.
The pacey forward exploited an inefficient offside trap by Mark Fish as he raced onto a Gera through ball to calmly dispatch past Kiely and put the game beyond doubt.
He then capped a sterling performance by grabbing his hat trick from the penalty spot after fellow substitute Richard Chaplow was chopped down by Bryan Hughes on the touchline late on in the game.
|Charlton Athletic||Team Name||West Bromwich Albion|
|4||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||9|
|3||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||5|
|11||Total Fouls Conceded||9|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|