BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer told his side to keep their spirits up after they fell to a late defeat against promotion hopefuls Brentford.
Macauley Bonne’s 8thminute header had the South Londoners hoping they could earn a surprise victory on their last ever visit to Griffin Park, but a penalty from Saïd Benrahma fifteen minutes from time drew the hosts level. Ethan Pinnock then powered a corner home with just five minutes left on the clock to boost the host’s chances of catching Leeds and West Brom in the Championship top two.
The result means the relegation-threatened Addicks are still just two points clear of 22nd-placed Middlesbrough, who travel to The Den to take on Millwall tomorrow.
“I’m proud of the players tonight – you’ll not hear me saying that often when we lose,” said Bowyer.
“We gave Brentford a right scare and they’d been hammering teams before and after the lockdown.
“The subs they brought on made a big difference. We ran out of legs. We had too many on empty in the end and just couldn’t hold out for that priceless point. We gave it a good go.
“The plan nearly worked. We come away with nothing but these ain’t going to be the games that define whether we stay in the division. I said to the players to be disappointed, but not too disappointed. We’ve got another big one coming up Saturday.
“I thought it was tough, against a very good Brentford side. I think they’ll go up. I’ll be amazed if they’re not in the Premier League next season. I was here on the weekend and watched them against Wigan. I’ve seen what they’ve done to other teams of late. We looked quite solid for a large part of the game.”
Josh Cullen was the man penalised after a sliding challenge on Benrahma that led to the Algerian dusting himself down and equalising from the penalty spot.
“I thought it was soft,” said Bowyer when asked if felt the award of the penalty was the correct decision.
“I’ve seen challenges like that not be given. The ref said to me ‘Josh got a touch on the ball but it was his follow through’. You can’t control that when two people are running into each other, both stretching for the ball.
“Josh got a touch on the ball. Can he control what happens after he gets a touch on the ball? No. I think the player made it look worse than what it was. Some are given and some ain’t on those occasions. Unfortunately for us, it went against us.”
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