Charlton played out a 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley as their winless run extends to five.
Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the clash at The Valley.
ANOTHER ONE FOR THE AGES
Uninspiring. An Accrington side who were winless in their last nine away games in all competitions and who hadn’t even scored on the road for more than a month were unfortunate not to take all three points.
Charlton started brightly, particularly with Corey Blackett-Taylor causing problems down the left. His cross saw Mo Sangare head on to his own woodwork early on. But that start soon fizzled out and Stanley took the lead in traditionally farcical circumstances.
Sean Clare’s loose ball out gifted the visitors the opportunity to cross, with Shaun Whalley eventually left unmarked to head home from a knockdown. The Addicks were shellshocked and never looked like getting back into it before Steven Sessegnon’s thunderbolt from the blue.
The second half was a non-event from the Addicks – they didn’t muster a shot on target until injury time when young hopeful Dan Kanu fired straight at Toby Savin when clean through. Accy had managed two or three real openings before then – the Addicks remaining level thanks to a fine double save from Ashley Maynard-Brewer and a goal-line block by George Dobson.
Accrington’s players are fighting relegation. Charlton’s fans are fighting boredom and I’m afraid it’s a losing battle.
Steven Sessegnon really should have tried that more often. The Fulham loanee had never scored a goal in his senior career but put that record to bed in spectacular style. Charlton had barely been in the game following Accy’s opener, but Sessegnon wriggled beyond a challenge and decided to have a pop from all of 35 yards out.
It dug the Addicks out of a first half hole but they were unable to build upon it. The goal was a rare highlight in what was another flat display in front of goal. Charlton only had three shots off target – including just one in the second period.
Sess’ stunner was the South Londoners’ first goal in just under eight hours of football. The rest of the match doesn’t suggest they’re going to turn into a free-scoring outfit again any time soon.
HOLDEN ON FOR ANOTHER THREE YEARS
It was announced before kick-off that Holden had agreed a deal with the club until 2026. The contract will give the Addicks boss the illusion of stability, although this is Charlton under Thomas Sandgaard – so it’s probably only actually good for a few months.
The timing is right for Holden. It’s now five without a win and just one in seven. Holden has found out, like every other manager who has had to deal with this squad over the last two years, that you can get a tune out of them in short bursts but it’s never sustainable. He’s fortunate to get some job security right now rather than trying in another few weeks when potentially the poor run could have developed into something more serious.
Holden’s success over the next however long he actually stays depends on wholesale changes above him – better recruitment, an owner with ambition and an owner with sense. Who knows when those things will turn up.
If ever we needed reminding of how far Charlton have fallen – Saturday’s Valley morgue was the perfect example. It was dead. There was hardly anyone there. The atmosphere was non-existent, despite the best efforts of those in the Covered End. The action on the field didn’t engage the crowd in any way.
It was turgid. Charlton are a husk of a football club, playing out dead rubber after dead rubber in the third tier of English football against sides who could fit their travelling support in the back of a mid-size people carrier. There can’t be many worse places to watch football at the moment than in SE7.
It will take more than an extended contract for the manager to fix this mess.
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS
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