Football

Pardew hails Addicks' character

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Charlton manager Alan Pardew was delighted with the reaction from his players as they claimed a well deserved 2-2 draw at Plymouth.

Substitute Emile Mpenza volleyed a last-gasp leveller for Plymouth after Charlton striker Andy Gray had put the visitors 2-1 ahead from a penalty in the first minute of stoppage-time.

"Obviously (given) the pressure we were under and the criticism we have taken a group this week, we got the right reaction," Pardew said.

The goal was Belgian ace Mpenza's first and only touch of the game but his right-footed effort would have graced any match.

Gray had clinically finished from the spot after home striker Rory Fallon held on to Charlton captain Mark Hudson's shirt.

The dour tussle had earlier come to life when Charlton left-back Kelly Youga dived to head an 86th-minute equaliser from Nick Bailey's left-wing corner, to cancel out Mat Doumbe's 39th-minute headed opener, also from a corner. Doumbe powered home his header after marker Luke Varney slipped over.

Pardew, whose side are struggling at the wrong end of the Coca-Cola Championship, admitted: "I am proud of the players, especially our captain, who led by example and it gives us something to build on ahead of the game at Birmingham."

"It was a really solid performance and I thought we controlled the game with our shape and we were disappointed to concede (the first) goal."

Plymouth boss Paul Sturrock said: "I feel up and down, indifferent and a wee bit disappointed because we had been fairly comfortable through the second half, outwith Romain's save.

"But the wind gets up and the rain gets up, they changed their system and brought forwards on and next minute they are battering our door and I am a wee bit disappointed that Romain claims he was fouled for the first goal."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Rory Fallon
Football
Championship
Mark Hudson
Emile Mpenza
Mark Hudson
Luke Varney
Mark Hudson
Mark Hudson
Andy Gray
Birmingham
Plymouth Argyle
Nick Bailey
Charlton Athletic
Kelly Youga
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