Charlton held on for a victory on the south coast after Conor Washington’s opener and an own-goal from Clark Robertson opened up a two-goal lead for the Addicks before Michael Jacobs reduced the deficit late on. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from Fratton Park.
FEISTY ONE, IT WAS
A real blood-and-thunder encounter in which the Addicks came out deserved victors. Pompey started fast, as they often do in Charlton’s visits to Fratton Park but the visitors soon wrestled control and edged ahead just beyond the half-hour mark. There was an element of luck with the opening goal – Chuks Aneke was clearly offside from Adam Mathew’s cross. But Washington pounced and Charlton didn’t look back. They should have extended their lead before the break but Alex Gilbey missed two good chances and Albie Morgan and Corey Blackett-Taylor both came close from range. Pompey forced the issue a bit after the break but were hit on the counter and Clark Robertson diverted Sean Clare’s dangerous cross into his own net. Jackson’s side seemed to be seeing the game out fairly comfortably until Michael Jacobs squeezed one beyond Craig MacGillivray with ten minutes left. The atmosphere ramped up a notch inside Fratton Park but, despite some nervy moments, Charlton held on for a remarkable ninth victory in 10 visits to Portsea Island.
Some of Charlton’s recent displays over the last month have lacked that vigour that epitomised the early days of Jackson’s caretaker reign but that high-tempo, high-pressing energetic Charlton was back this evening. George Dobson was his usual imperious self, with Alex Gilbey and the once-again impressive Albie Morgan posing threats in the final third. Corey Blackett-Taylor was given the man of the match award by Sky TV after causing Pompey plenty of issues with his pace and direct running. But the first time in a while, Charlton made it tough for their opponent to control the midfield and it showed.
The triumph at Fratton Park was Charlton’s first on the road in League One since November – with the Addicks also registering their first back-to-back league wins since the start of December. They’re now three unbeaten in league games and hopefully can think about turning the corner following the wobble the coincided with Jackson being rewarded with the permanent role at The Valley. With the play-offs still a distant aspiration and relegation unthinkable and unlikely, there’s still plenty of scope to use these remaining 18 games this term to lay the groundwork for a side that’s ready for a push next year. Jackson will hope that he can build on the momentum gained from the last three outings.
The big story throughout the evening was away from the on-field action, with Mason Burstow’s move to Chelsea set to be confirmed on Tuesday. The youngster will be loaned back to the Addicks for the rest of this season but once again Charlton fans have learned the hard way that the small fish in the football pyramid will struggle to hold onto their brightest young assets once the big guns come sniffing around. What’s important now is that the money received for Burstow, which Jackson had described as substantial, is used to further strengthen the squad in the summer as the Addicks look to put a promotion bid together. Some of those building blocks have already been put in place during this window – with the likes of Chuks Aneke and Scott Fraser landing in SE7. But there will still be work to do.
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