Charlton’s winless run stretched to seven league games after Accrington came from behind to win at The Wham Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from another lacklustre display.
COPY AND PASTE
Ctrl + C. Ctrl + V. That’s how I really should be writing these pieces week in, week out as we’re seeing the same vulnerabilities from the Addicks pretty much every time they cross the white line. Charlton did actually start fairly brightly and were ahead thanks to what looked a dubious penalty award for handball.
Jayden Stockley duly obliged from the spot for Charlton’s first goal in five games on 18 minutes but the Addicks were behind less than a quarter of an hour later. Stanley were level through Rosaire Longelo after Charlton’s tactics of turning their own six-yard box into a low rent mosh pit somehow failed as a defensive strategy. And the turnaround was complete when Tommy Leigh was gifted the freedom of Lancashire to line up a long-range effort.
The Accy midfielder was sent off for a dangerous aerial challenge on Sean Clare with half an hour left but the extra man made little difference. Despite having 70% of the ball following the red card, the Addicks didn’t muster a single legitimate shot. Conor Washington did see a late goal ruled out for handball but it wasn’t enough.
GILLS AND SPILLS
I still think Charlton will be fine. But I may have to revisit that prediction if they lose to one or both of Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon over the next fortnight. Neil Harris has provided some fresh impetus at Priestfield with the Kent outfit winning four of their nine outings since the former Millwall man took over. He’ll relish the chance to come to an unhappy Valley on Tuesday and look to reel in the seven-point advantage the Addicks have over their near neighbours.
It’s the form of sides like AFC Wimbledon, winless in 18, and Morecambe who haven’t tasted victory in 10, that will probably mean the Addicks will be alright. It’s not ideal that Charlton fans must rely on the Dons or the Shrimps continuing to slip up, though.
I asked Johnnie Jackson about his goalkeeper’s capacity to command his six-yard box yesterday. This by no means implies that I think Charlton’s inability to deal with balls into the area is entirely his fault, but it is noticeable that Craig MacGillivray is hesitant when it comes to making his presence known in a crowded goalmouth.
If you watch back the highlights of yesterday’s game, when the ball is pinging merrily around the packed Addicks area, you can even hear a cry of ‘where’s the goalkeeper?’ coming from what appears to be the Charlton technical area. It’s certainly something the Addicks stopper can work on to help ease the pressure on his defence. Claiming crosses was ex-stopper Ben Amos’ best attribute in the Addicks goal and Charlton are missing that dearly.
Since joining the club in January, Chelsea loanee Juan Castillo has made one league start and one league appearance off the bench – although he did feature for two minutes as a substitute at Hartlepool in the Pepperoni Trophy. Nile John, who joined from Spurs, has been an unused substitute in four league games and not played a minute of football for the South Londoners.
The January window was a chance to bolster the ranks but as it stands these two deals haven’t really worked out. Considering the massive summer rebuild that’s required – Jackson and those in charge of analysing and recruiting targets will know they can’t have too many arrivals that don’t make an impact.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS