Charlton made it two wins from two at The Valley this week as they brushed Burton Albion aside. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the encounter.
RARELY OUT OF SECOND GEAR
A comfortable victory – albeit not a classic. The Addicks carved out their two-goal winning margin by the break and managed to do so with their only two shots of the half. The opener came from a stunt the South Londoners have pulled already this season as goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray punted a perfectly measured long ball over the top for Conor Washington to float over the advancing Ben Garratt – a carbon copy of the goal where the duo linked up to the same devastating effect away at Morecambe in November.
Burton were still in the game and had half-chances of their own, notably with former Charlton man Deji Oshilaja rattling the bar from the edge of the area. But the game was put to bed just before the break as Corey Blackett-Taylor, who was pivotal against Gillingham in midweek but had barely been involved yesterday, somehow dribbled an effort inside the near-post.
Johnnie Jackson’s side did improve after the break without creating too much in the way of clear-cut chances but were able to see the game out with their eyes shut. In scenes reminiscent of his playing days at The Valley, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side failed to muster a shot on target.
For all Charlton’s trials and tribulations over the last couple of months, the Addicks home form under Jackson remains a base to build from. They’re now unbeaten in three in SE7 and haven’t been breached at home for over five hours of football.
Indeed, Charlton lead the League One charts for home clean sheets – boasting 10 shutouts at The Valley this season, eight of which came under the current manager. Jackson’s return of eight league wins from 13 on home turf, with two draws and three defeats isn’t far off what the Addicks will need to extrapolate over the course of a whole season if they’re to be involved in the promotion shake up next season. Needless to say, the away form needs to follow suit.
The Addicks remain unbeaten in games under Jackson when he’s been able to start his first-choice front two of Washington and Jayden Stockley. They’ve won seven of the eight games in which they have started with that frontline in league and cup and it’s no coincidence that the form tailed off when they weren’t available.
The win over Gillingham in midweek was the only outing in which at least one of them hasn’t scored during those games. For all the talk of formations and what Jackson needed to switch over the last few weeks – there’s no better cure for disappointing form than having your best players available.
DOBSON TOPS THE CHARTS
It’s been a few weeks since I mentioned Charlton’s player-of-the-year-in-waiting in this column, so I had to put that right. He made more than double the number of tackles than everyone on the pitch (7) apart from Sean Clare who was the only other player to pass three (4) on either side yesterday.
Whilst it may be tempting to class Dobson as the best performer in a poor side – his stats stack up against every other player in the league as well. He has the highest average tackles per game (3.4) of anyone who has made over 20 League One appearances this season. The disruptor in the Addicks midfield that has been one of the bright sparks of a poor season.
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS