Charlton fell to a second defeat in four days as Stephen Humphrys struck late on to earn Wigan Athletic all three points at the DW Stadium.
Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from another disappointing trip to the north west.
ANOTHER TIGHT GAME
For the second time in a week the Addicks return home from the north west with nothing to show for their efforts – and they only have themselves to blame. Set-pieces have become Charlton’s kryptonite over the last few weeks and they succumbed to a dead ball situation once more as the hosts won late on. Beaten at their own game as well – the deep corner headed back across that the Addicks always try and play through Ryan Inniss. The South Londoners had started the game brightly and scored a fine opening goal as Adam Matthews crossed for Elliot Lee. It could have been two soon after as Alex Gilbey rattled a shot off the bar but they were pegged back as Sean Clare gave away a soft penalty. Like Tuesday’s loss at Bolton, Charlton seemed to be holding Wigan at bay in the second period but were the architects of their own downfall as they were caught napping from a corner. It’s cost them what would have been two deserved away day draws in the space of four days.
STRIKERS ON STRIKE
There’s a gaping hole in the Charlton frontline with Conor Washington and Chuks Aneke now joining Jayden Stockley in the treatment room. It’s no surprise that the Addicks are having blunt spells in games when they’re left to rely on inexperienced strikers such as Mason Burstow and 17-year-old Daniel Kanu, who made his senior debut off the bench at the DW Stadium. You have to allow a fair amount of leeway for these youngsters as they have to deal with the weight of expectancy that comes with scoring plenty of academy goals coupled with the reality of making the step up from boys to senior football. The next few weeks, if that is how long the likes of Aneke and Washington will be missing for, will be a real test for the youngsters but also great experience to take forward into their careers.
The Luton loanee didn’t feature in Charlton’s last three outings after dropping badly out of form but made a bit of an impact at the DW Stadium. He arrived late at the far-post to head the South Londoners into a lead and was involved in some of the better moments when the Addicks were on top in the opening stages. Goals from midfield have been lacking this season – that was just Lee’s third league strike of the campaign. But an Elliot Lee who is at his best will also help to carve out more openings for the Addicks. Lets hope that his spell out of the side was the shock needed to restart his season.
This season is over. There’s no two ways about that. So, the planning for next season must be in motion. The uncertainty that surrounds the future of Johnnie Jackson clearly is unhelpful – the manager’s contract will be reviewed at the end of each season based on performance. For what it’s worth, I think Jackson has done enough over the course of his tenure to suggest that with the right building blocks he could make something happen for the club. He put together that impressive run of form during his caretaker spell and the wobble either side of Christmas coincided with him losing the option of his first-choice front two as Jayden Stockley and Washington started to suffer injuries. His points per game return is still pretty good and the two defeats this week could have easily been draws – a million miles away from some of the shambolic displays under Nigel Adkins earlier this season. Once next season’s foundations are laid, the real work can start to being scouting out a side that could achieve something.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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