Charlton secured their third clean sheet in a row at The Valley today in a 0-0 draw with Wigan Athletic in front of a 'football for a fiver' crowd of 23,600. The Addicks move up to 19th, overtaking Birmingham City on goal difference.
The Lactics probably had the better chances, but were unable to take advantage of them with their inaccurate shooting. They had sixteen shots, but only three were on target. We managed only three, but at least they were all on target. Overall, a competitive game was evenly balanced (possession was marginally in Wigan's favour at 47-53) and a draw was not an unfair result.
We were told at the start of the game that Scott Carson had injured his ankle in the warm up and had been replaced by Nicholls whom the Bloke Beside Me thought was Wigan's fourth choice keeper. However, if we thought this might be a bonus, it proved not to be as he was more than capable.
We started the game well and won an early corner. We did concede a corner to Wigan that was avoidable. Bradley Pritchard failed to make use of a good cross when he blasted the ball over. After the thirty minute mark, Wigan started to get into the game more. After injuring his ankle early in the game, Kermorgant had to be withdrawn and replaced by Sordell. There was a scramble in front of the Wigan goal at the end of the half. However, neither side had really created many chances.
Half time: 0-0
Dale Stephens put in a good shot which was just wide of the post. Following a Wigan corner, the upright came to our rescue. James Perch fouled Sordell, but nothing was given. Hamer had to make a good save from a curving ball.
At the end of the game I found that I had made fewer notes than usual as it was lacking goal mouth incidents. However, I thought that we played well as a team and I was more relieved not to lose than disappointed at not winning.
Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Dale Stephens. Although he faded towards the end of the match, he seems to have recovered the form that attracted the attention of Aston Villa and made many skilled contributions throughout the game. Hamer did make a couple of good saves, but showed some hesitancy in coming for the ball in the first half. Wood had a good game until he had to be taken off. Morrison was solid and reliable. Wiggins had a good game and was involved in some excellent attacking moves. Although he did make one or two errors, Wilson surged forward well with one run practically the length of the pitch. Pritchard displayed plenty of effort, but his contribution was limited and he missed one chance to score. Stewart showed some nice touches, but was not a game changer. Cousins got involved when he could. Whether Kermorgant was still not fully fit, or whether it was the knock he picked up early in the match which left him limping, he was below par and had to be substituted. Church tried his hardest and got frustrated with the East Stand linesman for awarding fouls against him. Dervitte slotted in competently when he had to come on. Sordell was inevitably a disappointment. If Jackson was supposed to act as a talisman with his late appearance, he failed to do so and seemed off the pace.
Rescue Cat Reg has given the Hiss of the Match to the referee Stephen Martin who gave a whole series of free kicks to the visitors in the second half. Some of them were justified, but not all of them. He also seemed to have left his cards in the dressing room, ignoring a series of yellow card offences by the visitors and then giving a card to Bradley Pritchard for an alleged series of fouls.