George Dobson bagged his first Charlton goal as the Addicks edged out promotion hopefuls Rotherham United at the New York Stadium. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the clash in South Yorkshire.
THE PERFECT AWAY DISPLAY
That was textbook. An away day display where the Addicks soaked up the pressure they needed to, defended their box well and then found a moment of quality to win it. It’s still true that wins like this on the road have been too few and far between, including just under Johnnie Jackson, but we have seen this template play out a few times now.
Sunderland away in Jackson’s first game is the obvious example, along with the victory at Fratton Park over Portsmouth at the end of January. The end of this season is about setting standards for what should be the aim next year and the work rate and organisation would be a good base to build from.
The Millers dominated the ball (60%) but only had one shot on target to show for it, whilst the visitors forced five of their own as they looked a threat on the break – especially in the second-half. A missed opportunity for Rotherham to take advantage of Milton Keynes’ slip at Wimbledon but a nice fillip for the South Londoners who are in a decent bit of form – just one defeat in six and three unbeaten on the road.
NICE HIT, (DOB) SON
That wonderful, match-winning strike was the cherry on the top of an excellent personal season for George Dobson. For a man who doesn’t get a lot of chances – with whoscored.com showing that as just the midfielder’s eighth shot in 34 league appearances this season – the technique to cut across the ball with power and accuracy is a hard skill to pull off.
Nobody in the squad deserves a moment like that more than Dobson. His industry in the Addicks engine room has been a sight to behold since he was given the nod by Jackson away to Sunderland. And he’s now added a potential Addicks’ goal of the season trophy to sit alongside his certain player of the season gong on the mantelpiece.
Jason Pearce was colossal on his return to the side. The skipper hadn’t featured in any of the last five outings but returned with a bang as he kept former Charlton man Michael Smith at arm’s length throughout.
The 34-year-old’s future is up in the air at the moment, but I hope he’s offered a player-coaching role at The Valley because this season he has proven that he can be relied on when called upon. Plus I’ve no doubt he could be a good mentor for the likes of Sam Lavelle for years to come.
The Charlton stopper’s ability to command his area was brought into question recently so it’s encouraging to see how MacGillivray has been more disposed to coming off his line to claim crosses over the last handful of games.
Coupled with Jayden Stockley’s impressive 10 aerial encounters won during the match, many of which would have been in his own area, the Addicks extinguished the majority of Rotherham’s threat from balls into the area.
For MacGillivray, his ability to take on the criticism and improve from it is commendable. Next season he’s more likely to be under pressure from Ashley Maynard-Brewer who will be waiting in the wings. So, there’s no room for complacency from the Charlton number one.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS