Charlton surrendered a half-time lead as Bristol Rovers ran out 2-1 winners at The Valley yesterday.
Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from a freezing cold day in SE7.
THAT WASN’T VERY CHRISTMASSY
Bristol Rovers hadn’t won at The Valley since 1958 – but records are there to be broken and the Addicks duly obliged. Charlton started superbly and broke the deadlock through Ryan Inniss’ 20th-minute header from a Scott Fraser corner. They carved out a number of decent openings in a good first half performance – arguably the best 45 minutes they’ve put together in weeks.
But it inevitably came crashing down. Former Millwall striker John Marquis was the beneficiary of two early Christmas presents in the second period as the Addicks gifted their visitors all three points.
Heads seemed to really drop after Marquis’ quick-fire double and the hosts never looked like getting back on to level terms. A really concerning sign as the managerless South Londoners now stretch their winless run to six League One games.
*Insert name here* has made too many mistakes this season. I can just copy and paste that opening sentence and change the name pretty much every week because this Charlton side is riddled with individual errors. This week it’s Ryan Inniss’ turn to giftwrap a couple of goals to the opposition – and it’s not the first time he’s felt generous this season.
Having twice given the ball away inside his own area during the last home game against Cheltenham, the former Crystal Palace man repeated the trick to devastating effect yesterday afternoon. Like too many of the Addicks’ so-called ball-playing centre-halves, he doesn’t look comfortable in possession. Punished by Marquis for dilly-dallying too long for the first goal, he then panicked and rushed a clearance into the path of a Rovers midfielder for the second.
You can’t hold confidence that a single Addicks centre-half can go 90 minutes without a howler this season. It’s a massive problem that continues to cost points.
Charlton remain four points above the drop zone with a game in hand. I still think that with players returning from injury they will be fine – but the current trajectory isn’t good and the uncertainty surrounding the club doesn’t help.
On average over the last five seasons, you’ve needed 48 points to avoid the drop into League Two. The Addicks are set to hit 53 on their current points-per-game run rate but are now winless in six League One outings.
With takeover rumblings continuing in the background, Charlton fans will surely be praying that something can happen before the January transfer window is through as they’d like to see investment to make sure their current flirt with the relegation battle doesn’t blossom into something more serious.
TRY TO TAKE A POSITIVE?
Charlton were pretty good in the first half. Sometimes you’d look at that as a positive. But it would be something we’ve said time and time again this season and yet it still isn’t enough. This side have proven that they can have spells, but they are too wasteful in front of goal and too shambolic at the back.
Anthony Hayes said himself at full-time: “At the moment we’re not good enough to score one goal and win games.” Charlton can’t keep talking about taking the positives from one period of the game because they consistently don’t make it count. That’s why they’ve won a measly five games all season.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:
“A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or, please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ