Oldham Athletic took a share of the spoils from today's clash at The Valley with Charlton and it is difficult to say that a draw was not a fair result. Indeed, Charlton rode their luck at times with the Lactics hitting the woodwork twice. It was a below par performance from the Addicks and although the absence of Daily and Semedo (particulary the latter) was clearly a factor, the central midfield seemed to be absent from the game at times. Charlton gave away possession too easily and sometimes seemed reluctant to chase the ball and keep the pressure on Oldham.
Ironically, Charlton ended the game with eleven men and Oldham were reduced to ten, but the difference did not favour the Addicks in the closing minutes.
With Carlisle winning convincingly at home they have gone top of the table with Oldham in second place and Charlton in 3rd. Sheffield Wednesday also have 7 points.
When I got to the Rose of Denmark some of my earlier optimism about the game had evaporated and I went for a 1-1 draw so at least I got a rollover jackpot as consolation.
Their objective may have been a draw, but Oldham came out of the traps in fast and furious mode. It was very much in your face football, although probably the first half hour was our best spell in the game.
Abbott won a corner for Charlton, but it was unproductive. Reid missed a chance at a sharp angle. Oldham hit the post and I think that Elliot was at fault for hesitating in taking command of the situation.
Jarrett received a yellow card for a foul and this was to be significant later in the game. Wagstaff then put the Addicks ahead with a decisive goal. His maturation is one of the most promising aspects of the season so far.
Reid won Charlton a corner and Jackson secured a free kick, but both were unproductive. An unjustified Oldham free kick for a ball to hand led to a corner for the visitors. The ball was played out and Dean Furman, formerly with Chelsea and Rangers, put in a snap shot to level the scores just before half time. It was an excellent strike which went over Elliot's head, but Furman was given too much space to take it.
Half time: Addicks 1, Lactics 1
The incompetent referee had to re-start the kick off, but even then the same incursion occurred. Elliot made a good save, but his goal continued to be under pressure until the Lactics blasted a chance over.
Chris Taylor was taken off and replaced by Deane Smalley for the visitors. A ball went high up into the upper tier of the West Stand. As a consequence, two balls appeared on the pitch and the useless referee took ages to organise a dropped ball, even though he did have to speak to Dickov about his conduct.
Llera went down following an attack on the Charlton goal, although some believed this was a tactic to hold up play. Thierry Racon, who could be covered by Martin and had failed to impress, was taken off and replaced by Sodje.
What was evident is how little strength in depth we have. Apart from Sodje, there was no one on the bench who could come on and turn the game around: they were all youngsters with limited experience. Once the existing company is dissolved on Monday, hopefully we can make another couple of signings.
Jarratt received a second yellow card for a trip on Reid and was sent off. The charm merchant blasted the ball at the Charlton dugout, something which annoyed Phil Parkinson considerably. The player could face a further charge.
Five minutes were added on, but Charlton were unable to take advantage. Oldham won a corner, but tried to keep the ball in the corner rather than attempting to score and win the match which said something about their ambitions for the game.
Whilst one does not want to dwell on the grief of others, Southampton seem to be less invincible than was predicted before the season. Joe the Saint texted me to say, 'Saints pants, champions my backside.'
Making a welcome return to match day, Belgian shepherd Ivy the Terrible has given the Silver Bone to Scott Wagstaff for his well taken goal and his commitment throughout the game.
Elliot made a couple of great saves but he needs to develop more confidence in commanding his area. I still think the pink top makes him look like a fashion victim. Jackson was once again proficient and competent. Francis did his job well enough but his crossing would benefit from some improvement. Doherty made some good defensive headers and generally got stuck in. Llera did not make any serious errors, but his concept of defending is too much focused on the big hoof. Racon had some nice touches, but he often seemed to be out of position.McCormack wasn't always as in evidence as he should be and he had an exchange of views with Jackson at one point. Reid was very effective in the first half with good runs forward. He faded a bit in the second half, but came back strongly at the end. Martin looked a bit lightweight against the big northerners and got himself into an offside position too often. Abbott showed some nice touches but he was manhandled throughout the game and got no protection from the referee. I think that bringing Sodje on was a good idea, given that we were up against some big lads, but he was not able to turn the game around.
Hiss of the Match This has been given by Juneau the Soocer Cat to a particularly inept bunch of officials, especially the referee. A dropped ball incident and the sending off led to long delays and he should have had the guts to second Dickov to the stand.
Crowd rating The recorded crowd was down on the Bournemouth game, but they developed their voice in the second half. 7/10.