Charlton were edged out of the FA Cup as Premier League Norwich City scored late on through Milot Rashica at The Valley in yesterday’s FA Cup third round tie at The Valley.
Here are Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the game.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
A performance to be proud of – but it is a case of what could have been. Norwich were awful, particularly in the first half as they were completely unsettled by a combative Charlton side. George Dobson was once again imperious at breaking up play in the middle and Elliott Lee put in his best showing for several weeks behind the front two. Lee and Jonathan Leko both saw chances come and go before the break. Canaries boss Dean Smith had to call for the cavalry at half-time and it took a moment of quality from Teemu Pukki to break the deadlock – he drove beyond Jason Pearce and squared for Rashica to score the decisive goal 10 minutes from the end of normal time. Ben Purrington nearly took the game into extra-time when his header came crashing back off the crossbar deep into added-time but it wasn’t to be. There will be elements of the performance that the Addicks will take great heart from.
GOAL SHY ADDICKS
There is one part of the performance that is still a cause of concern though – the Addicks aren’t scoring enough goals at the moment. They’ve found the net just once in the last four outings in all competitions and it’s no surprise when they’ve not been able to partner Jayden Stockley and Conor Washington in any of those games. With both forward men now suffering from injuries, Johnnie Jackson will be eager to see other members of the team start to pitch in – and reinforcements arrive in January.
BURSTOW CAN BE PROUD
A great day for 18-year-old prospect Mason Burstow who got to lead the line against an experienced Premier League defence, and he did himself proud. His running caused Grant Hanley and Ozan Kabak problems for an hour and he came a whisker away from scoring a stunning long-range shot in front of the Covered End. Some have called for Burstow to become a consistent starter in League One but I think we also saw today why he’s not quite ready for that – and this is by no means a criticism of Mason. There were a couple of moments of indecision that saw him give away possession in the final third and he clearly tired after an hour or so – everything you’d expect from an 18-year-old still making his first forays into senior football. Think back to how much Karlan Grant struggled in his first few years as a senior pro at Charlton and look at where he is now. I’d say Burstow has offered more than Grant did in those years so far and cannot wait to see what sort of future the young man has ahead of him.
FA CUP FOOTBALL CAN STILL BE FUN
Charlton’s FA Cup campaign has come to an end and I daresay it’s actually been quite fun this year. No tiresome ties with teams in the same league that are about as inspiring as a trip to the dentist. This season, we got an away day at a non-league side that offered everything the early rounds of the competition can be about and a chance to try and cause an upset as Norwich became the first Premier League side to visit The Valley since Charlton’s own top-flight relegation in 2007. Glimpses of what makes FA Cup football enjoyable – and no game against Huddersfield Town in sight.
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS
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