“God laughs when people make plans” – indeed, the plan to provide regular match reports hit an immediate speed bump after the inaugural piece from Exeter away, as circumstances beyond our control prevented us from obtaining copy for the Bury draw, while two consecutive games were then called off with the cold weather.
However, Alex Stedman is determined to pull us back on course, much in the way Chris Powell’s side are very much on course for promotion after another laboured yet crucial victory against fellow hopefuls Milton Keynes Dons:
AFTER a fortnight without a game, football came back to The Valley in some style. A highly charged and competitive contest was once again won by Johnnie Jackson, who coolly slotted away two spot kicks in a matter of minutes.
On a night where the top six teams in the division faced each other, Charlton knew a win against promotion chasing MK Dons was vital in order to keep some distance between them and the two Sheffield clubs.
With Charlton attacking towards their favoured Covered End in the first half rather than the usual second, the game started with both teams cancelling each other out. MK Dons moved the ball well, with Stephen Gleeson at the heart of the Dons fluid play.
Chris Powell’s men opted for a more direct style, whilst still maintaining the neat football that has reaped rewards so far this season.
MK Dons began to assert their authority on the game as the half hour mark passed, but an off the ball incident moments before half time between Yann Kermogant and Gary McKenzie resulted in the Dons defender seeing red, and left one man to take centre stage again.
The set piece specialist stepped up to drill the ball low into the net past David Martin.
Charlton came forward again, and after what surely would have been goal of the season from Danny Green – a thirty yard strike which appeared destined for the top right hand corner only to crash off the far angle – the ball fell back into Jackson’s path before Alan Smith foolishly brought him down.
The clumsy foul left the skipper to his duties again. The outcome was never in doubt as this time he swept his second spot kick into the opposite corner to give Charlton a commanding lead at the break.
The second half was more frustrating for the home crowd. They wanted to see their team push on for more goals, but instead the home side seemed to sit back on what they had.
For all their approach play, MK Dons didnt really threaten the Charlton goal enough to have Powell making drastic changes to his side. Three minutes from time the Dons were rewarded for their much improved second half display, as Dean Bowditch cleverly curled a shot into Ben Hamer’s right hand corner.
The goal left the 15,000 strong crowd a little anxious as the game entered injury time. A succession of corners and long free kicks from Karl Robinson’s side were sternly dealt with by the Charlton back line, which until two weeks ago against Bury, had gone nearly eight hours without conceding in the league.
A win on Saturday at Tranmere would see the table toppers equal Alan Curbishley’s all-time record of 12 away league wins. Chris Powell’s men will be hoping that another determined performance on the road will help them to pull level with this feat.
Read more from Alex at The End Of The Day: http://theendofthedayfootball.blogspot.com/