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THE Match Report: Charlton 1 - 0 Wigan

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England squad striker Darren Bent rifled home an 86th-minute penalty to clinch three priceless points for Charlton Athletic at The Valley.
The crucial Barclays Premiership relegation clash seemed destined for a draw until Fitz Hall was penalised by referee Peter Walton for his challenge on Marcus Bent.
And Darren Bent made no mistake from the spot as he easily beat goalkeeper John Filan to fire his 12th goal of the season.
Charlton showed just one change to the side that beat Newcastle United 2-0 with Dennis Rommedahl replacing Marcus Bent, who was brought on at the interval following a below-par half from the misfiring Dane.
Skipper Darren Bent overcame the knee injury that forced him to miss England’s Euro 2008 qualifiers while Alexandre Song recovered from his hamstring problem in time to make the starting line-up.
Leighton Baines, Lee McCulloch and Hall all returned from suspension for Wigan while Caleb Folan overcame his ankle problem to partner Emile Heskey in attack.
Some nice touches from winger Jerome Thomas initiated a Charlton attack and although Rommedahl made a mess of Darren Bent’s square-ball, he recovered quickly and tested Filan with a lofted shot.
McCulloch had a shot blocked before Heskey picked up a promising pass only to run down a blind alley.
Folan escaped Souleymane Diawara but was foiled by Scott Carson, who sprinted off his line and halted the Wigan midfielder - taking a knock in the process.
Rommedahl’s overpowered cross to the far post then saw Darren Bent dive in vain as Charlton sought first blood in a finely-poised opening 25 minutes.
Zheng Zhi threatened on the edge of the box two times in succession but was snuffed out by timely intervention from Wigan’s defence.
A Thomas cut-back presented Song with a chance but the Cameroon defender’s shot was easily blocked as Charlton began to gain the upper hand.
Zheng latched onto a failed clearance by Filan but could not get any power behind his stabbed shot and the Wigan keeper was able to recover and save.
Ryan Taylor picked out Matt Jackson at the far post with a precision cross but the veteran defender’s header looped high over the crossbar.
A long-range effort from Thomas drew gasps from the home supporters but it was well wide.
Baines then went close to breaking the deadlock with a well-struck free-kick that just brushed the left post.
The ineffective Rommedahl was replaced by Marcus Bent for the second half but it was his namesake Darren who had the first opportunity after the break, nodding Zheng’s corner wide.
It was a difficult chance but priceless nonetheless with so much at stake and moments later Taylor was booked by Walton for a needless block on Diawara.
Luke Young combined with Darren Bent to good effect only for the Charlton skipper to mis-read his team-mate’s intentions and send the return ball in the wrong direction.
Wigan went close with half an hour remaining, Folan firing a cross that McCulloch raced in to meet only to see his effort strike the left post.
Wigan looked the most likely team to break the deadlock as the final whistle approached but Paul Jewell’s men found themselves behind with four minutes to go.
Hall put his foot up to challenge Marcus Bent who was trying to control the ball and Walton pointed to the spot.
Darren Bent stepped up and smashed the penalty home for his 12th goal of the season, snatching a crucial late victory for the Addicks.

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