BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Lee Bowyer reckons the howling wind on the Fylde Coast played a part in a “horrible to watch” encounter that saw Fleetwood and Charlton share a 1-1 draw at Highbury.
Jayden Stockley’s seventh-minute header, the third goal of his loan spell from Preston North End, had given the South Londoners a fast start in the north west.
Paddy Madden levelled for the Cod Army just before the break and Bowyer had Ben Amos to thank for securing a point after the hosts forced the Charlton stopper into a number of saves after the interval.
Fleetwood sit 16thin the division and have now won once in 12 outings but were the better side for the majority of the game – Charlton themselves continue to struggle, having won three times in 13 games since mid-December although they have now lost just once in five on the road.
The Addicks struggled to create any real opportunities apart from their only goal and dropped further points in their quest for a top six League One finish. They are three points outside the play-off places, with each of the five sides above them boasting at least one game in hand on Bowyer’s team.
Afterwards, Bowyer said: “Horrible game. Horrible to watch. Conditions made it that way. But, we get a point. A tough place to come. They’re a good side. They were in the play-offs last year. I don’t think it was very pretty. A bit of a battle all over the pitch. I thought they played the conditions better than us. Overall, we take a point and get ready for Tuesday.
“They played the conditions better than us. They created the odd chance here and there. We tried to play out from the back as well because of the wind. As you saw at the end there, Ben’s kicks weren’t even getting halfway up our half. I was trying to encourage them, you’ll have to be brave and play out but sometimes that was inviting unnecessary pressure onto ourselves. The most important thing is that we didn’t lose the game, it was something to build on. We aren’t going to play in those conditions all the time. There’s no protection here in the stadium from the wind. Take a point and get home.
“It disappointed me that our quality on the ball wasn’t its normal self today. Again, I think the conditions made it more difficult. Some of the balls that the defenders were dropping into the strikers were going straight over their heads. We just didn’t adapt to it very well. The one cross that we did put in, Jayden scores. You have to recognise those situations and think that’s something we have to work on. That was something we talked about during the week. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t get enough passes together. I just felt it was a really scrappy game. Neither team put more than five passes together. Disappointed.
“The goal I was disappointed with. The striker finds himself free, 12 yards out with no one around him. He should be marked. You can’t just have a free shot. That disappointed me.
“We work hard all week on playing from back to front and creating chances. Over the last few weeks we’ve been doing that a lot but, again, I put it down to the conditions. We didn’t put four or five passes together today. We never do that. That disappointed me, the amount of opportunities we created but all we can do is work hard and try to do the right things. We want to try and push for that top six.”
PHOTOS: SEAN GOSLING/ KYLE ANDREWS
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