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Charlton hold their nerve in nine goal thriller

HAPPY MAN: Charlton boss Chris Powell

CHRIS POWELL'S Charlton fought back from 2 - 0 down to take all three points in a thrilling 5 - 4 at home against Cardiff City.

The Londoners started the game on the back foot, having lost their previous match to Middlesborough 4 - 1 while the Welsh side sat 20 places and 14 points above them.

The home side looked shell shocked as the Championship leaders took an early lead at The valley through Heidar Helguson's fourth minute header.

City could have extended their lead but for saves from'keeper Ben Hamer and a last ditch tackle from Leon Cort.

Joe Mason scored their second in the 24th minute. At that point it was hard to see anything but an away win for Cardiff as an impotent home side struggled to get a shot on target.

But then up popped captain Johnnie Jackson to score his 30th club goal in his 90th start for the side. It finally gave Charlton's lowest attendance this season something to sing about.

The goal seemed to breathe life back into the side and Jackson collected his brace in first half extra time.

For most of the second half, Charlton looked like the side fighting for promotion as Cardiff heads dropped and the Addicks found their stride.

Powell's battling outfit eventually took the lead ten minutes into the second half as Premier League target Dave Stephens' free kick evaded everyone on its way into the back of the net.

Danny Haynes scored his first league goal for the club to make it four, before veteran Rob Hulse added a fifth.

Much to the chagrin of Powell, referee Kevin Stroud found six minutes of extra time.

With the home side presumably feeling like the match was won, they allowed the table toppers to claim two consolation goals during the generous extra time period.

Craig Noone and then substitute Aron Gunnarsson took their chances to leave the score at 5 - 4.

Powell will naturally be unhappy with the number of goals conceded, but glad that his team are back to winning ways.

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