Charlton will have to face Stockport County in a replay for a place in the 3rd round of the FA Cup following a 2-2 draw at The Valley. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the tie.
A fairly entertaining cup tie in which League Two Stockport County fully earned their replay – even if they did wait until the seventh minute of added-time to find a leveller. The Hatters were off to a flying start as Chris Hussey’s centre seemed to go all the way in.
But Charlton recovered well and had started to turn the screw before Steven Sessegnon’s fine run and an unfortunate Stockport backside hauled them level. They soon led through Albie Morgan’s third goal of the season after he was superbly picked out by George Dobson.
The South Londoners missed a huge opportunity to put the tie beyond doubt as substitute Corey Blackett-Taylor brushed a post inside the final 15 minutes but County had already started to create chances as the half wore on and deservedly levelled at the very end. We go again at Edgeley Park in 10 days or so.
You’ll be shocked and appalled to learn that the Addicks didn’t defend very well yesterday. They were caught out by a well-worked short corner routine early on for the first. When the ball was then zipped into the area, both Ryan Inniss and Sam Lavelle were unable to judge the flight of the ball to make a telling header clear.
Hippolyte was unmarked for the equaliser – and looking back at the goal it seems that was Charlton’s plan all along. The two central defenders are both stationed on the edge of the six-yard box marking zones, whilst other red-shirted players pick up men. This left Hippolyte unoccupied to dart towards the near-post from the edge of the area and flick his header across and in. Dave Challinor would have spotted this weakness in the way the Addicks set up from corners and exploited it.
Diallang Jaiyesimi seemed to be the man beaten to the header – but he was marking Paddy Madden and did track his man. It was Charlton’s set-up in the first place that let them down.
I was surprised to see Aneke start yesterday for this first time this season. Garner said afterwards that the forward was in a position to do so after building up his gametime recently, but it will surely still have been considered a risk with the Addicks so short up top.
He was clearly blowing after the first-half and you’d imagine will still need to have his minutes managed going forward. But the longer Charlton can get out of him the better because he is their only effective forward at the moment.
He wasn’t at his unplayable best yesterday, but Charlton certainly lost a focal point after he went off.
It was another low FA Cup crowd. 3,889 were in – which included 925 County fans. Low crowds have become the norm in cup competitions and whilst yesterday wasn’t an outlier it does raise concerns that apathy is well and truly setting in for some fans.
Flattering to deceive in the league ahead of what Ben Garner will hope, rather than expect, to be an important January transfer window. Whilst the FA and League cup runs have been a welcome distraction, and it was an enjoyable game against the Hatters – there really is precious little to get the pulses racing in SE7 at the moment. The direction that the club seems to be travelling in won’t be packing out the terraces any time soon.
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