Swindon had an early corner cleared by Fortune and the follow up corner was cleared by Francis. Charlton made some good efforts in the opening phase, reports Philippa Nicholson. Swindon were playing a 4-5-1 formation while Benson was up front for the Addicks. Reid put in a good early cross which Benson connected with well.
However, then Swindon came into the game more, but there was no one to connect with a Swindon cross. Charlton were trying to pass and play, but Swindon were also probing.
Martin approached on the right, but the offside flag went up. McCormack tried to advance, but Swindon came away with ball and won a thrown in level with the Charlton penalty area. Elliot saved well with his foot. The first quarter of an hour was evenly balanced with both sides trying to get on top of the midfield battle.
O’Brien got in behind Francis who had to concede a corner. Morrison had a free header but did not get enough on it. A header from Austin went wide. Racon fed Reid who put in a dangerous cross and Jackson’s follow up deflected off a Swindon player to put the Addicks 1-0 ahead. The Swindon players were furious claiming a hand ball from Benson in the build up. It was a hand ball, but sometimes the luck goes your way. The new chairman punched the air.
Reid kept skidding over which raised questions about the studs on his designer boots. Jackson made a good run, but it was unproductive. Racon advanced on the right, but Swindon were able to clear their lines. Reid got past two players but was body checked by Morrison leaving both players down. Reid was given a yellow card.
Fortune had to head out a Swindon free kick. Dailly fed Martin who tried to use his pace, the move ending in a Charlton throw in. Swindon counter attacked, but the Addicks got their players back. A dangerous ball from Ritchie was dealt with by Jackson.
The referee missed another hand ball. Charlton attacked again on the right but Smith in the Swindon goal was able to claim the ball. A quickly taken free kick led to a shot by Ritchie which Elliot palmed over the goal. The corner led to a second one, but McCormack was able to take the ball away.
Rose advanced 60 yards with the ball at his feet but Austin was not able to convert nor could Prutton get on the end of it. That was Swindon’s best chance to equalise up to then.
Charlton were pushed back too deep, Elliot dealt with the cross from the left but then the rebound fell to Pompey loanee Ritchie who was able to put the ball in the back of the net from four yards out to make it 1-1 in front of the Swindon fans in the Jimmy Seed.
Swindon took a corner short. Semedo cut it out and Martin almost got a touch whose pressure led to a Charlton corner. It was well worked and Benson got into space but Smith gathered well low down.
Half time: Addicks 1, Robins 1
Austin sent a shot in but it was straight to Elliot. Charlton broke away but McCormack was not able to take advantage. Martin flicked the ball off Rose to win a corner. The corner by Francis was headed away.
Francis gave a terrible ball away leading to groans from the Addickted. Racon almost got round the defender and keeper but ex Spanner Smith dived on the ball. Dailly defended poorly on the edge of the box, Austin stole in and put the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-2 leaving Elliot with no chance. It was a late seasonal present for the former non-league striker.
O’Brien beat Francis who was exposed by his opponent’s pace but fortunately Elliot was able to gather off Austin. Charlton made a double substitution with Martin and McCormack going off and Abbott and Wagstaff coming on.
Prutton put in an effort from 25 yards out as the gaps opened up. Wagstaff showed a nice touch and Benson attempted to get a shot away but Frampton was able to block. Ritchie advanced but his shot deflected off Dailly for a throw in.
O’Brien was taken off and replaced by McGovern. Swindon were packing their own half, while Charlton were relying on the long ball. There was not enough movement from the Charlton players. The frustration of the Addickted was growing.
Charlton won a corner but it was headed away by Morison. Reid fed the ball back in, but Abbott was too close to the keeper. Charlton made their final substitution with Sodje coming on in place of Fortune. The Addicks seemed to be gambling on three at the back, but with Semedo in front of Dailly. It was a desperate gamble and so it proved.
Abbott gave the ball away and Swindon broke but the flag was raised against Austin. Charlton advanced but Abbott was not able to get a shot away. Cuthbert came on in place of Timlin.
The free kick came in and the 6ft 4 ins. Morison put in a towering header to make it 3-1 - straight past Elliot into the corner. The Addickted start to stream out of the ground. I felt tempted to join them, but duty called.
Swindon won another corner. It became a rout as Austin came in at the back post to make it 4-1. There was a chance at the other end but Benson was not able to take advantage. Reid got a cross in and won a corner. Benson’s header was wide. A volley from Sodje was cleared off the line. Desailly replaced Austin who applauded the away fans whilst no doubt thinking of his future in the Championship.
A corner from Francis was headed away. A great finish by Abbott who turned and put in a super volley over the keeper that saw the ball go into the right-hand corner to make it 2-4.
A corner from Francis was headed out by Cuthbert. Jackson hammered the ball into the visiting fans.
Phil Parkinson was to meet the new owners after the game. That will be an interesting conversation. Whoever is manager they need to be given money for new players, especially in central defence.