Mpenza rescues Pilgrims
Belgian sub salavages late draw
Last Updated: 08/11/08 6:01pm
Mpenza: On target
Emile Mpenza fired home a an inury-time equaliser to give Plymouth a 2-2 draw with Charlton at Home Park.
Charlton had looked on course for all three points as Kelly Youga and Andy Gray put The Addicks ahead, after Mathias Doumbe had given Plymouth the lead.
But then with his first touch Mpenza fired home to the delight of the home fans.
The draw moved Charlton out of the relegation zone to ease the pressure on Alan Pardew, but the Addicks extended their winless run to six games.
Plymouth boss Paul Sturrock made two changes from the defeat to Sheffield United, as Craig Cathcart and Rory Fallon replaced Krisztian Timar and Nicolas Marin.
Pardew made five changes to his starting line-up following the 3-1 defeat to Barnsley - with Linvoy Primus, Youga, Jose Semedo, Matt Holland and Hameur Bouazza all returning.
The Addicks went into the game in dismal form, but the changes appeared to have a positive effect as they came flying out the traps.
With seven minutes gone, Bouazza sent a shot just over the bar before Holland let fly from the edge of the area - but Larrieu did well to turn the ball around the post.
Holland brought some much-needed experience back into the Charlton midfield and he got on the end of Yassin Moutaouakil's cross - but Larrieu produced another outstanding save to keep out the header.
One of the main reasons for Charlton's poor form this season has been their defensive frailty, and it resurfaced once again when Doumbe was left unmarked to head in Summerfield's corner.
Charlton came out for the second half looking somewhat beleaguered and they should have been further behind when Paul Gallagher got down the left and crossed for Fallon who volleyed wide at the far post.
Pardew responded by taking off the ineffective Luke Varney and bringing on pacy winger Lloyd Sam and it gave the visitors a boost as Bouazza sent another long-range shot off target.
The visitors continued to push forward in search of a way back into the game and Andy Gray found space inside the box but his shot was comfortably gathered by Larrieu.
Mark Hudson then came close to grabbing an equaliser when his shot from inside the box brought about another fine save from Larrieu.
However, with four minutes remaining Charlton made the pressure tell when Nick Bailey's corner picked out Youga who headed in.
Then came an extraordinary period of injury time where Charlton thought they had sealed a dramatic three points when Andy Gray slotted home from the spot after Rory Fallon bundled over Mark Hudson.
But there was to be one more twist in the tale as Mpenza came on for the injured Gallagher and volleyed in with his first touch to seal an unlikely point for Plymouth.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 8th Nov
Blackpool0 - 1Ipswich
Barnsley1 - 2Sheff Utd
Sheff Wed1 - 0Doncaster
Plymouth2 - 2Charlton
N Forest1 - 1Birmingham
Reading3 - 0Derby
Coventry0 - 2C Palace
Norwich2 - 2Preston
Wolves2 - 0Burnley
QPR1 - 0Cardiff
Southampton0 - 1Bristol C
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||21||42|
|8||Brighton and Hove Albion||21||32|