Charlton made it three wins on the spin with a narrow victory at relegation-threatened Doncaster Rovers. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the League One game at the Eco Power Stadium.
A game that could have easily finished 4-0 to the Addicks ended with Charlton thanking Craig MacGillivray for an added-time stop that secured all three points. The Addicks were so wasteful in front of goal with the tone set early by Conor Washington’s 15th-minute penalty miss. The South Londoners’ front two of Washington and Jayden Stockley are one of the few high points of the campaign but between them they seemed powerless to convert the hatful of openings that were carved out for them until the latter finally broke the deadlock midway through the second period.
Even after that they conspired to waste a chance to extend the lead as Washington was denied one on one by goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell with Stockley then rattling the crossbar on the rebound with the goal gaping. This profligacy in front of goal was nearly punished as Rovers finally remembered they need points to survive and launched a late attack on the Charlton area. But MacGillivray was alert to deny Tommy Rowe and ensure the points returned to South London.
Charlton’s away form has been a concern all season – this was just their fifth win on the road and a first since the 2-1 success at Portsmouth on the final day of January. Clean sheets have been even rarer on their travels, with Saturday’s shut out just the Addicks’ third away from home and a first in 11 outings since the 1-0 win at Burton Albion in November.
Being solid and difficult to break down is the bedrock of any away performance and it hasn’t happened enough this year. Especially when you consider what I found a surprising statistic – there’s only been three games on their travels this season where the Addicks have failed to score. So tighten up at the back and the points return will start to improve rapidly.
What a find Corey Blackett-Taylor is proving to be. A seemingly underwhelming signing when picked up as a free agent following a fortnight on trial but he’s become an integral part of the team when fit enough to feature. He was one of very few positives when he provided some excitement under Nigel Adkins early in the season. He’s had spells in and out through injury but has returned recently to pick up where he left off.
Doncaster simply couldn’t handle him on Saturday. He’d already burst into the area two or three times before he was felled for the first-half penalty. And his trickery carved out the only goal of the game for Stockley as he bagged his third goal involvement in the last three games. Long may he stay fit and able to contribute.
PLAYING BY THE WRONG RULES
Blackett-Taylor also earned just the second yellow card of his senior career, and his first as a Charlton player, during the closing stages of yesterday’s game but I’ll be shocked if he ever picks up a more unjustified booking. The winger was struggling with cramp late on and had been taken off temporarily for treatment. Charlton wanted to bring him back on to defend a set-piece but referee Sam Allison refused.
When the Addicks got the ball clear, the fourth official then waved the Charlton man back on– at what was admittedly a terrible time as he gestured just as the ball came loose and in the direction of Blackett-Taylor. The Addicks man was inexplicably through on goal, which rightly made the home fans go ballistic. The referee then stopped play and whipped out the yellow card for Blackett-Taylor, for the new law that presumably states you must ignore orders from match officials from now on. Barmy.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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