Charlton missed an opportunity to go top of League 1 after a 0-0 draw with Oldham at The Valley. For the third league game in a row, the Addicks failed to score. Oldham had come with a clear game plan to go for the draw and possibly sneak a winner. They succeded with the aid of considerable time wasting which was not penalised by the referee until late in the game. The Addicks showed considerable energy and determination in the last part of the game, after a rather lethargic performance for much of the match, but although they were virtually camped out in front of Oldham's goal, they could not score.
The tide was very low in Deptford Creek which did not give me optimism about the outcome of the match which was played on a mild and sunny autumn afternoon. I didn't see any watering of the pitch, but our players kept falling over - which may suggest a studs problem.
Oldham were awarded a dubious free kick by the tunnel which set the standard for the refereeing all the match when any marginal decision was given to the visitors. Apart from being inept, I think this was a referee who was determined to show that he is not a 'homer' by favouring the opposition.
Bailey put in a shot from outside the box and it was not far wide. Llera put in a shot from distance which was saved by Brill at the expense of a Charlton corner, but Shelvey's effort was caught.
Charlton were engaging in slow builds ups, possibly trying to replicate the goal against Brentford. The approach work was good, but there was no final product.
As danger loomed, Youga put in good defensive work to clear. Sam burst into the box, but keeper pushed the ball out. Youga and then Bailey won Charlton corners, but they were unproductive. A piece of cheating by Oldham won them a free kick in front of the D but it came off the wall. Racon put in a good ball, but it was blocked.
Oldham won a corner and for a moment there was danger but the move ended in a goal kick. Another Oldham corner also posed a threat, but the offside flag was raised. Spring put in a shot from distance that was not far off target. The half ended with a corner for Charlton, followed by a second, but the whistle was blown before it could be made use of.
Half time: Addicks 0, Lactics 0
Sam and Colbeck had an animated but friendly conversation before kick off. Youga won Charlton a corner. An Oldham free kick saw the ball in the net but the referee had already blown up.
Shelvey won Charlton a corner but it was taken short and wasted. A good Richardson cross led to an Addicks corner, but it was also productive. Our corners often seem to lack something.
Shelvey was taken off and replaced by McLeod. McLeod burst throught, but his effort was wide. From a Charlton free kick an effort by Llera skimmed the bar. Time waster Kelvin Lomax no doubt claimed he was still recovering from his dizzy spells, but even this referee had had enough and showed him a yellow card for delaying a throw in.
Leon McKenzie came on for his first appearance replacing Deon Burton. A Charlton corner was overhit. McLeod was fed well and had the goal at his mercy, but his effort went wide. Parker sauntered off the pitch for the Lactics and was replaced by Lee.
Lloyd Sam was replaced by Scott Wagstaff. Youga put in a bicycle kick which hit the bar. At long last Brill was shown a yellow card for his time wasting. Five minutes of time were added on, but despite increasingly desperate efforts by Charlton they could not get the ball in the net.
Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone once again to Kelly Youga. He was a real threat in attack, hitting the woodwork with a bicycle kick and performed well in defence. Elliot did not have a lot to do given the general inaccuracy of Oldham's shooting, but the communication between him and the defenders does not always seem to be of the best. Balls that could have been headed back to the keeper were hoofed out of play or played up field when this was not the best option. Llera was particularly at fault here and maybe his ear covering headgear means he can't hear Elliot's shouts - or Elliot has to shout louder and generally be more commanding. On the whole, Llera had a decent game with two good shots on goal, which is not to say I would not prefer Sodje when available. Dailly had a competent game. Richardson made some good forays down the right and put in some decent crosses. I thought that Spring had one of his best games for the club so far which is not to say that he necessarily links up with Racon that well: Racon had some sublime moments, but drifted in and out of the game. Bailey was lively and contributed in defence as well as attack, although it was not his best game. Shelvey is asked to do too much, he is too young for a free roaming role and, as Steve from Petts Wood pointed out, there was not as much huff and puff as usual. Some considered that Sam was below par because of his injury, although I thought he generally did well. I notice that he changed his boots after the break. Opinions were divided about Burton. In many respects he did not have a good game, but there are limits to what he can do when he lacks support and plays in an isolated position. McLeod brings pace, but one of the key requirements for a striker is to seize golden goal scoring opportunities which he fails to do. McKenize looked lively and may be a better option. Wagstaff continues to develop as a player and made his contribution after he came on.
Juneau the Soccer Cat gave the Hiss of the Match to time wasting Oldham goalkeeper Dean Brill. This was on two grounds: his time wasting tactics and his offensive lumimous kit borrowed from the Highways Agency.
Referee G Horwood has been awarded a re-training voucher. He is probably a hopeless case, though: the worst referee we have seen at The Valley this season.
Crowd rating: 'The natives are getting restless' commented the Bloke Beside Me and, although it was a frustrating and low quality match to watch, the crowd could have done more to lift to the team. 6/10.