Saturday 15 January 2022

Chuks stops the rot

It wasn't a great performance, but Aneke secured an unlikely away point for Charlton in time added on. Charlton remain 14th, six points ahead of Morecambe in 21st place.

With Conor Washington injured and Craig MacGillivray on paternity leave, Johnnie Jackson made five changes in the team against Cheltenham Town at the Jonny Rocks stadium.   New signing Chuks Aneke started alongside Mason Burstow.  Perhaps the biggest surprise was the inclusion of Adam Matthews as wing back in the 3-5-2 formation.

DJ put in  a good cross after build up by Morgan and it led to an early Charlton corner after a good run from Matthews.  

DJ got an elbow straight in the face and a yellow card was awarded.

After an outstanding throw from Matthews, Charlton won a second corner.  Charlton tried to maintain the pressure, but the ball was cleared.

A third corner came within the opening ten minutes, but it was saved off the line from an Inniss header.

Cheltenham threatened from a good free kick, but the ball went over. Charlton almost conceded, but Henderson made a great save from May.   Cheltenham then got the better of Charlton's defence again and Henderson was called into action.   After a bright opening ten minutes, Charlton were not getting to the ball first.  Nlundulu was a nuisance to the Charlton defence.

Famewo required treatment after a blow in the face and was off for a Cheltenham free kick.  Somehow Cheltenham failed to score through Wright from a yard out and DJ cleared the ball over the bar.  The corner was comfortable for Henderson.

Good work by DJ led to a Charlton corner.   The keeper was able to catch Morgan's effort.

Charlton are always vulnerable just before half time.  After Inniss made an error, Henderson saved from Wright who was able to get into space but the Southampton loan player Nlundulu was able to pounce on the ball palmed out by Henderson to make it 1-0 on 42 minutes.

Aneke got a yellow card.   It was very close to 2-0, but Henderson was able to save from May in time added on.

Charlton had looked disjointed, Cheltenham had had the better of the chances, as many as five or six of them.

Steve Brown said we were really poor after a super start.   We were lucky to be going in only 1-0, Henderson had made two or three excellent saves.   Chuks and Mason had struggled to press.  The midfield were 30 yards behind.   He had been expecting a much more solid performance, instead we had lost confidence and belief.   We had created only one good opportunity and we were vulnerable at the other end.  He couldn't remember a worthwhile challenge.

HT: 1-0

DJ was replaced by Blackett-Taylor at half time.   Aneke fashioned a chance, but it came off the bar, giving the sold out away end something to sing about.

Morgan advanced but was tripped giving Charlton a free kick in a dangerous position, but they were unable to take advantage.

Matthews put in a cross and Lee's effort was saved.   Charlton were still getting out muscled too easily in places.   It was too easy for Cheltenham to get from their third to ours and a May volley was not far wide.  

A shot from Aneke was saved by the keeper.  Matthews was taken off and Leko came on in the hope that he would show more forward intent.

Cheltenham had a free header from a corner but it went wide.   Charlton were struggling to create anything.

Inniss did well to get an important tackle in.   The ball was too far ahead of Aneke for him to turn it in.

Thomas was given acres of space but put the ball over.    Dobson made way for Gilbey.  

Leko won a corner in time added on, but it was cleared.   Inniss headed the ball back across and Aneke got an equaliser from a header for Charlton.

Steve Brown said that under the circumstances it was a great point.  It stopped the rot.  We were much improved second half.  We did look exposed defensively.  It was a big step forward for the morale of the team.  

Chuks Aneke said he was delighted that he'd made his mark.   It had been hard fought.  'I felt good today, I felt strong.'

Steve Brown said the whole team would benefit from Chuks holding the ball up.  He got into some very good areas in the six yard box.  It was good he got through 90 minutes.

Johnnie Jackson said: 'Football's a mad game, we haven't been getting what we deserved the last few games.  Today we didn't deserve anything and we got an equaliser in the last minute.  A point on the road is never terrible.  Credit to Albie Morgan for his delivery from the set piece.   We need to use that as a little springboard, time for us to get some good work in on the training pitch.'

Giving his assessment of the 'smash and grab' point Jacko said that it was a flat performance and Charlton had been better at Crewe.  They lost the individual battles at Cheltenham:

Cheltenham Town are investigating reports of homophobic abuse at the game:

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