Saturday 16 January 2021

Shipshape and Bristol fashion

A Bristol Rovers fan e-mailed me today to complain about calling his team the Gas and said they should be called the Pirates.  No doubt he will think that it was an act of piracy when Charlton took all three points at the Memorial Ground this afternoon.

A Forster-Caskey strike from the corner flag put Charlton ahead in the second half (Steve Brown in the studio was convinced that Millar got something on it and the BBC gave it to the Canadian, but Forster-Caskey is convinced that it was his).  Albie Morgan was sent off for a second yellow, but the Addicks held on for the last ten minutes and indeed posed a threat.

A clean sheet reflected more solidity at the back with Oshilaja having a good game and singled out for praise by Lee Bowyer.   Steve Brown drew attention to one of his blocks and said his covering positions were great.

Rovers defended well, but were very dependent on ex-Addick Brandon Hanlon to get a goal.

Man of the match: Jake Forster-Caskey.  Lee Bowyer said, 'He's driving us in the middle of the park.'  Steve Brown told him that he led by example.

Lee Bowyer told Scott Minto: 'It was very good today, very professional, we looked solid, everyone put a good shift in.  If you want to be picky, we should have scored more.'   Bowyer said of Morgan, 'He's 21, he's learning the game, he's trying to compete and fighting, but today he was a little over the top.'

Bowyer said, 'We should enjoy this moment and move on', emphasising the tough test against Peterborough on Tuesday which would be a very different game.

Charlton are in 6th place, but on the same number of points as Peterborough and Doncaster Rovers above them.

Match report

The game had a rather untidy start, but Rovers were showing some urgency and clearly looking for an early goal.  However, the back four looked solid and the midfield moved back quickly to protect them.

On 10 minutes Aneke didn't make the connection with the ball he wanted and scuffed it wide.  Oshilaja provided good cover against Hanlon.   A Rovers free kick was well defended.  A great Forster-Caskey ball won Charlton a corner.

On 21 minutes a great Maatsen ball gave Aneke an opportunity but his effort was just wide.  Following a Charlton corner, Forster-Caskey put the ball wide.  On 27 minutes Hanlon shot wide in what was really the first chance for the hone side.

Amos caught a Rovers corner.   He then spilt the ball, but referee Peter Wright, in charge of Charlton for the first time, ruled that he was fouled.  Good work by Aneke saw Forster-Caskey put the ball over the bar.

Amos stretched out a leg to deny McCormick.

Steve Brown thought that Charlton were open and stretched towards the end of the half.  He also thought that Conor Washington did not do enough with the ball.

Charlton had had plenty of possession, but their final ball let them down.

HT: 0-0

It was end to end start, but the Addicks won three corners.   However, they were taken short and I think that this rarely works.  When Forster-Caskey whacked it in on 63 minutes we got the goal.

Rovers fought back strongly and Charlton struggled to clear their lines.  The Addicks made a triple substitution, in part with the Peterborough game in mind.  Williams, Washington and Aneke went off. Smyth, Bogle and Schwartz came on.

Schultz and Bogle advanced on goal, but the Dane managed to trip up.  Morgan got a second yellow for an unnecessary challenge off the ball.

Bogle was creative in the closing phase of the match.  Gilbey, who had come on a substitute, won an important free kick for Charlton.

Six minutes added on created a nervous atmosphere, but Charlton retained control.

Rovers manager Paul Tisdale was contemptuous of Forster-Caskey's effort and said that it was a soft goal to concede:

Leading Bowyer critic Desmond from Deal said: 'Just when we think Bowyer's days are numbered, he sneaks a lucky win.'

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