Charlton travelled to Yeovil having lost two games in a week. The Addicks’ disappointing defeat to Ipswich was followed up on Tuesday night with a loss to Reading at the Madjeski stadium, and Powell’s men had found themselves sucked back towards the relegation dogfight.
On the other hand, their opponents Yeovil have recently been in good form. Wins against Blackpool and Watford had seen the Glovers rise off the foot of the table and sit just below their visitors at the start of play.
The Addicks arrived at Huish Park with only one real issue…goals. Performances have, on the whole, been relatively good. The defence has looked fairly resolute, but the midfielders have struggled to provide enough chances for Kermorgant and Church up front. With Haynes, Fuller and Wright-Phillips (amongst others) having left the club, and Kermorgant and Jackson having spent time on the sideline, it’s been the responsibility of others to weigh in with goals, and no one has stepped up to take the task on.
Goals, it seems, are like London buses for Charlton, as the Addicks raced in to a 2-0 first half lead against the Glovers. The away side edged the first half performance, with Alnwick largely only tested from distance. At the other end, Cameron Stewart was lively all afternoon, and drew a fantastic save from Dunn in the home goal. Just minutes later, it was the same two players, a very different result, as Stewart smashed the ball passed Dunn who had no chance.
Charlton, desperate for a victory, are good at holding onto leads when they go ahead, and Jackson helped to settle the Addicks’ nerves before half time. Again Stewart worked hard down the wing, crossing into the box where Church left it unselfishly for Jackson to steer in at the back post.
Johnson made changes at half time, but the second half continued in the same vein. Jackson and Cousins both created good chances, but the Addicks couldn’t find that elusive third goal to really seal the points. At the other end, Hayter went down under Dervite’s challenge but to the fury of the locals the referee waved away the protests.
Hayter continued to create the best chances for the home side, but the Charlton defence remained solid. As the game opened up, Church attempted an overhead kick and only a fine save from Dunn stopped the Addicks confirming the win.
Yeovil’s hard work finally paid off as they halved the deficit with 15 minutes remaining. A cross deflected in off Charlton defender Michael Morrison to start a crazy 5 minute spell. Just two minutes later, the Glovers won a penalty after substitute Hughes fouled his man in the area. Miller blasted his penalty down the middle, and they were level.
The late drama didn’t stop there though, and the 5 minutes was completed as Jackson was shown a red for a two-footed tackle reducing the Addicks to ten men.
Charlton had twelve minutes to cling on, as the home side piled on the pressure. Wiggins made a fantastic saving tackle with just minutes remaining, as the Glovers attacked 3 on 1, but the pressure continued. It seemed like the Addicks’ defence would eventually concede, but they held on for a valuable point, although one that may not be looked at with positivity.
With the takeover still not confirmed and key players contracts still not wrapped up, the whole club continues to seem uncertain. Charlton welcome Derby to the Valley next weekend, whose 5-1 win over Blackpool was their 5th straight win. It’s very clear that the lack of goals have dragged Powell’s side right back in to the relegation scrap, and with the current owners still not investing in the squad, it seems that the Addicks will be there for a while. This crop of players have always had desire, and backed by largely unwavering support, Charlton can get out of this. There is a long way to go, and the players will not give up.
In Powell We Trust!
By Tom Wallin