Accrington arrived at The Valley with one of the worst away records in League One but soon extended Charlton’s miserable start to the season as they ran out 3-2 victors in SE7. The pressure continues to be piled on Addicks boss Nigel Adkins as his side were beaten again and remain in the drop zone. Louis Mendez provides his four takeaways from the game.
HARD TO SEE HOW ADKINS SURVIVES THIS
Nobody enjoys watching anybody, let alone a good man, lose their job but, unfortunately at this moment in time it’s impossible to see a way forward for Nigel Adkins at Charlton Athletic. His relationship with the fans seems irreparable and there’s still no sign of a cohesive side being formed on the pitch. The display against Accrington was once again disjointed for the most part. For all the issues with the transfer window at the start of this season, being stranded in the relegation zone after 13 games and turning in performances that suggest you deserve to be there can only go on so long. Thomas Sandgaard watched on as the South Londoners bungled their way through the first-half, lucky to be level at the break. They conceded two soft goals after the interval and despite making a bit of a go of it late on, it wasn’t enough. And it hasn’t been enough all season. There’s been time to turn it around but surely that time has ran out. Sandgaard will feel under huge pressure now to say that enough is enough.
Charlton are four points adrift in the relegation zone and head to bang in-form Sunderland on Saturday. Fleetwood, who sit just above the relegation zone also hold a game in hand on the South Londoners. This is a crisis. It will be extremely tough to pick up anything at the Stadium of Light and a bad set of results could see the Addicks with a seven-point gap to safety and a gruelling relegation battle ahead of them. This was unthinkable at the start of the season but is the reality ahead now. There’s a crunch game with basement boys Doncaster Rovers at The Valley in 10 days time and we’ll really see what the mettle of this side is for the fight ahead.
Charlton’s defending has been woeful this season. Only Morecambe (24) have shipped more than the 23 goals that the Addicks have and some of the errors that the Addicks keep making are becoming unforgivable. Harry Pell’s free-kick strike was impressive but he was left completely unmarked eight yards out to smash home his second. Ethan Hamilton was then basically invited to drive towards the edge of the area and shoot by the standoffish backline. Disorganised and chaotic, they feel a long way off a side that is going to hit Adkins’ target of 25 clean sheets this season. With just two to their name so far, they’d need to have shutouts in 70 per cent of their remaining 33 games to do that. Which will not be happening.
ACCRINGTON UP TO THEIR OLD TRICKS
It’s football, so no matter how poor Charlton’s display was and how disappointing the season has been, it’s still nice to waste some energy getting wound up over the gamesmanship of an opponent who looked to make the game as ugly and stop-start at Accrington did this evening. Charlton were on the wrong end of some pretty hefty treatment from John Coleman’s side a couple of years ago when Lyle Taylor was stamped on by Sam Finley and they had to deal with some roughhousing, aggravation and time-wasting during tonight’s loss that was frustrating to deal with. The only mitigation I need to admit is that Charlton would probably time waste just as badly if they were ever to have a lead in a game. Hopefully, one day before the end of time, we’ll find out if that is actually the case.
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS/ KYLE ANDREWS
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