Triple substitution secures passage to last 16

Last updated : 01 February 2006 By Editor

Line-up: Shaun Bartlett starts with Dennis Rommedahl injured and Marcus Bent cup-tied. Alexei Smertin and Jerome Thomas are named on the bench.

Staff Writer: Charlton just about deserved their win. Orient had fought back in the second half and had chances to win after Charlton had taken the lead but ultimately, Curbishley’s triple substitution showed the gulf of 61 places in the League between these two clubs. Alexei Smertin provided some outstanding touches, Jerome Thomas changed the tempo of the game and Bothroyd struck the winner. THE SUNDAY TIMES

Andrew Warshaw: This game was heading for a replay after an enthralling second half when the cruel FA Cup broke the hearts of plucky Leyton Orient. Although The Valley wasn't sold out, the presence of almost 6,000 Orient fans made for a wonderful derby atmosphere. Charlton were extremely fortunate not to have been punished in the first half but the visitors emerged with just as much intent after the break. They deservedly equalised in front of their own fans and were suddenly in the ascendancy. The changes (Curbishley's response to their goal) transformed Charlton from a team playing in fits and starts to one who would surely go on and win as they swarmed all over their opponents. It seemed Orient must buckle. THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

Alan Wilson: Leyton Orient came with a game plan to unsettle Charlton from the start and urged on by 6,000 visiting fans they started the brightest. However, the home side settled. For all Orient's efforts they produced little throughout the first half with Hermann Hreidarsson, imperious in defence, snuffing out all the visitors' attacks as quickly as they began. Charlton were guilty of over-elaboration though, at times trying to pass the ball into the net rather than break Orient's spirit by rattling up a cricket score and the visitors rallied towards the break and started the second half inspired. But the home side continued to turn the screw as the game looked to be heading for an entertaining draw. THE OBSERVER

Ronald Atkin: Orient panicked Charlton and merited a replay. The match swung on the gamble taken by Curbishley. Jerome Thomas, Alexei Smertin and Jay Bothroyd, pepped up a flagging team and got the result. The pace and trickery of Thomas down the left unhinged Orient's previously solid back line, Smertin was the epitome of industry pushing forward from midfield and Bothroyd, of course, got the winner. So Charlton finished as they had started, well on top. And there could have been more as Orient unwisely stood off their distinguished opponents. Not long before half-time Orient decided there was not a lot to beat after all and set about trying to prove it - they quickly levelled after the interval. Under sustained, enthusiastic pressure Charlton not only grew ragged but were being run ragged. With the loudspeaker announcement that three minutes were to be added, Orient seemed to have done enough to survive. THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY