Charlton’s final home game of the season ended in victory as second-half goals from Jayden Stockley and Chuks Aneke secured a 2-0 win over Shrewsbury Town. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the match.
A first-half that endured all the hallmarks of an end-of-season dead rubber but the game finally came alive after the break. Visiting stopper Marko Marosi had been forced into a couple of comfortable saves by Diallang Jaiyesimi and Conor Washington in a first period in which little happened.
Charlton’s own goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray has been under pressure in recent weeks but did make an important double save shortly after the restart, but the clash only really opened up when Stockley broke the deadlock just beyond the hour mark from Albie Morgan’s corner.
Aneke’s introduction saw the Addicks change to a 3-4-3 formation and they looked in good shape before the substitute added the second goal four minutes from time from another Morgan set-piece as the hosts registered their 10th and final home win of the campaign.
There’s no getting away from the fact that the campaign has been a major let-down. But the Addicks have taken an encouraging 19 points from 27 available over the last nine games – just one fewer than they took during Johnnie Jackson’s lauded caretaker spell of the same length.
Six wins from nine is a reasonable return during the closes stages of the season and exactly what Jackson needed before heading into the summer. The seven-game winless run throughout February and early March coincided with injury problems but that run still needed to be arrested and a platform to build upon created for next season.
FRONT LINE GOOD ENOUGH?
Are Stockley and Washington a strike partnership that could fire Charlton to promotion next season? I asked Jackson that yesterday and he said: “I think the facts are clear to see, they’re a really good front-two partnership. We’ve lost one game under myself when those two have started together. That was Lincoln when we had a but of adversity with ten men.
“The stats are there to back up that they are a good partnership at this level. They love playing together, they complement each other really well and we can be an effective team when they’re at it.”
The stats in question – since Jackson became caretaker boss in October, the duo have started 13 league games together. The Addicks have won 10 of those 13, with at least one of the duo scoring in 10 of those. They have scored 13 between them across those games as well, with more goals coming from each in games they haven’t started together.
Have they both missed some chances during that run? Yes, of course – they are League One strikers. But with Chuks Aneke available off the bench as well, I don’t think the frontline is the part of the Charlton side that needs the most renovation ahead of next year. Get Washington on a new deal, perhaps one more in as backup and concentrate this summer on the areas of the side that are weaker.
LAP OF APPRECIATION
I wasn’t surprised to see that the majority of supporters had already left before the players did their traditional lap of the pitch at full-time. It was billed as a gesture of appreciation for the support shown by the fans throughout the campaign and rightly so – considering how unsatisfactory it has been the supporters have been vocal at home and turned up in their numbers away.
They’ll be expecting a lot more next season.