BY LOUIS MENDEZ
When you’ve got a 6ft 5in Ryan Inniss to aim for, it’s only natural that your set-piece routines will centre around him. And when that’s coupled with Darren Pratley doing his best Lyle Taylor impression, the ball will be destined to nestle in the back of the net.
Charlton’s opener ten minutes into the second-half of the 2-0 win at Northampton on Saturday came straight from the training ground. A corner was floated towards Inniss, who nodded down into the danger zone for Pratley to rifle into the roof of the Cobblers’ goal – and the veteran midfielder was pleased to see the plan pay off.
Pratley said: “With the size of [Inniss], it’s something that we work on. [Assistant manager Johnny Jackson] and [goalkeeper coach Andy Marshall] work on the set-pieces and it’s something that we theme, to get the second ball off of Ryan. We work on that quite a lot and we’ve managed to do that. So yeh, I was happy.
“I just hit and hope. It was a bit like Lyle’s [for Nottingham Forest against Derby County]. I saw Lyle finish. I just turned and swivelled, bit like Lyle Taylor used to do. That’s what I did and luckily it went in.”
The victory at Sixfields wasn’t much of a spectacle, played out in tricky weather conditions. Pratley was introduced at the break in place of Manchester United loanee as boss Lee Bowyer looked to try and wrestle some control in the middle of the park.
“[Bowyer told me to] just to get in, get in and amongst them. It’s hard. It’s hard sometimes when you’re coming on at half-time, or you’re getting taken off. I don’t think it was anything against Dylan. I was taken off the other night for whatever reason, tactical or whatever.
“We’re all a team here. Whoever gets taken off or comes on, we try and do what the manager says. Obviously, a little bit gutted for Dylan coming off at half-time but we managed to go on and get the win. Dylan did his part in the first-half.
“It was horrible. It’s a hard ground as well, it’s quite tough. When we did the warm up we thought it was quite heavy. We thought people might get cramp late on. It wasn’t the best of conditions. The main thing, when you’re not really playing that well, is you get the points and we managed that.
“Just get the points. Get the points on board and then get out of here as soon as possible. It’s a tough game, horrible conditions. A team that works hard. I watched them play last year when they got promoted and we knew coming here today it would be a tough game. He’s got them well organised. A lot of long balls. Our main aim was to get the points on the board and we did that. I don’t think we’re going to look too much into the performance because, as you can see, it was tough conditions.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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