Charlton beat AFC Wimbledon 3-2 after an entertaining game at The Valley. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the encounter.
A rollercoaster game in SE7. The visitors took an early lead through Ethan Chislett – with Craig MacGillivray’s claims that he was fouled as he tried to catch a flick-on going unheeded by referee Christopher Pollard. The Dons were soon pegged back by a Ryan Inniss header that found the net via a couple of deflections as yet another League One defence found it impossible to stop the 6ft 5 centre-half from a set-piece. Conor Washington gave the hosts the lead soon after but it was all square at the break as Wombles skipper Ben Heneghan stooped to head home. Akin Famewo’s first goal in senior football won the day for the Addicks on the hour-mark as Johnnie Jackson’s side extended their winning run to three League One outings. The most encouraging aspect for Jackson will be the way his side saw out the last half-hour after they edged ahead. The Addicks controlled the ball, with 60% of the possession in that spell, and restricted Mark Robinson’s side to just one shot on target in the closing stages. A far from comfortable game but they closed it out very well.
HANG JAIYESIMI’S THROUGH BALL IN THE LOUVRE
I was tempted to make all four of my takeaways about Diallang Jaiyesimi’s through ball for Conor Washington’s goal because it was a thing of absolute beauty. A work of art. One for the ages. The Charlton Athletic Museum should open a new exhibit purely about the pass because it was that good. An instinctive and incisive thread through with the outside of the boot that was weighted perfectly for Washington to take into his stride before rolling behind Nikola Tzanev. I had high hopes for DJ when the season started and will admit that we only see what he’s capable of in fits and starts. Hopefully he can use that moment as something to kick on from.
NO DEFENDING THAT
Both sides will be thoroughly disappointed with the defending on show inside the opening hour at The Valley. Despite the question posed by MacGillivray after the first goal, Ben Heneghan was given way too much time and space to win the initial header that he dropped into a dangerous area. The lesson wasn’t learnt as the same man was able to peel away at the far-stick to head the Dons level before half-time. Jackson said afterwards that the visitors had managed to work a block on his defence but will stop hope his side would be able to combat that.
MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
Three wins on the spin for the Addicks and four unbeaten in League One. That wobble either side of Christmas has been put to bed now. But the Addicks will face a stern test with tough trips to Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic to come this week. Jackson wouldn’t get drawn into conversations about the Addicks’ top six hopes after the Wimbledon game and understandably so – Charlton are still 13 points outside the play-off places. But with the South Londoners now 10 points above the drop zone, they can remain confident that they should avoid getting dragged back into a dogfight. Now it’s all about seeing how many points they can pick up before May and bedding in the likes of Scott Fraser before next season.
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS