Conor Washington struck late on to extend Johnnie Jackson’s unbeaten start in caretaker charge of Charlton Athletic against high-flying Rotherham United. The Millers, unbeaten in nine before play, edged ahead on the stroke of half-time but the Addicks fought their way back into the contest before grabbing a deserved point. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from an enthralling evening at The Valley.
A TOP OF THE TABLE ENCOUNTER BETWEEN A TEAM AT THE TOP AND ONE NEAR THE BOTTOM
A really entertaining game where the Addicks once again more than matched decent opposition – in fact Rotherham will be pleased to have got away with a point. The Millers started the stronger of the two sides but it didn’t take long for Charlton to work their way back into it. Washington saw two decent openings come and go before the break but the visitors took the lead on the stroke of half-time. The South Londoners came flying out of the blocks after the interval and applied serious pressure – although ironically scored just as Rotherham were having a good spell and could have killed the contest off. This was just like a high-tempo top end League One encounter – the only reason it can’t be described as such is because Charlton’s terrible start has them in a false league position. Millers boss Paul Warne says the Addicks are a top six side in waiting and they’re finally starting to act like it. They may have given themselves a mountain to climb but if they are to do so – Johnnie Jackson is acing the application for the role of Sherpa.
TIME TRAVELLING ADDICKS
I’ve had to double and triple check the calendar on my phone because my brain simply refuses to compute that performance came just two weeks after the Addicks were humiliated by Accrington Stanley at The Valley. 14 days feels like a lifetime. A fortnight ago Charlton looked like an untidy gang of perfect strangers, but they’ve got so much more about them now. They also showed some nerve to battle back from the setback before the break. Compare that to the capitulation against Bolton Wanderers earlier on in the campaign. Warne said it himself after the game: “I would love to have played them two weeks ago.” I bet the rest of League One are missing that Charlton.
GILBEY SHARP ON SONG
I think a lot of the work that Alex Gilbey does in the Addicks midfield goes under the radar. No one touched the ball more in a red shirt than the 26-year-old this evening – he was also third on the list for aerial duels won behind noted aerial combatants Jason Pearce and Jayden Stockley. Having started last season so well but struggling to return to the sort of player he can be when he came back from an injury, he did finish off the campaign in good form and is proving a real asset for the Addicks again now. There’s plenty to like about his game and he can score goals too – he just needs to get off and running in that regard and stung the palms of the Rotherham stopper Josh Vickers with one drive this evening.
SCOTT OLDHAM POKER
The refereeing in League One is often like a game of cards – sometimes you wonder how the officials have bluffed their way up to this level. Scott Oldham, the man in the middle for this encounter was as inconsistent as they come. One major talking point came as he bottled showing a second yellow card to Millers defender Michael Ihiekwe for a trip on Gilbey. Paul Warne immediately substituted his man to extinguish any further risk of the visitors being reduced to ten men, but Oldham shouldn’t have left Warne in a position where he could take that option.
PICTURES: PAUL EDWARDS
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