BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton stole a point at Cheltenham as Chuks Aneke bagged a 95th-minute equaliser on his second debut for the club – and boss Johnnie Jackson admits his side performed a “smash and grab” at Whaddon Road.
Dan Nlundulu followed up Stephen Henderson’s initial save from Callum Wright’s drive to edge the hosts into a deserved lead just before half-time.
The Robins had chances to extend their lead but were pegged back in the final seconds as Aneke, who had already hit the crossbar at the start of the second-half, bundled Ryan Inniss’ flick-on home.
The results extend Charlton’s winless league run to four – with Cheltenham now eight without victory in all competitions.
Jackson said: “A bit of a smash and grab, to be honest. Football is a mad game. I don’t think we deserved anything today, but I feel we have done in the games that we’ve been getting nothing from. I look back at the Crewe game where I thought we were dominant for large parts and scored a goal at the end which, for me, should have stood to get a point there. I think that would have been the least we deserved.
“Wycombe and Norwich, two defeats where we probably didn’t get what we deserved from it. It’s flipped on its head today. I don’t think we deserved anything out of the game, but we’ve got it there. I’ll take it for the previous efforts where maybe we didn’t get what we deserved.
Jackson made five changes from the side beaten at Crewe in midweek and was asked if he had also pondered a change in formation for the visit to Gloucestershire.
“I’ve been thinking about a lot of things,” he added.
“It’s easy to think after a couple of defeats you rip it up and start again. That’s not the way I go about my work. I believe in what I’m doing. I know the lads believe in it. When it’s implemented well, you see the things we’re trying to do. Today, for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. Individual performances weren’t good enough.
“They won more individual battles than us. I’m always looking at how we can improve and what we need to do. Today was a decision I made to try and freshen it up the best I could, how I saw fit. Has it worked? I don’t know. We got a point, we didn’t lose but we didn’t play particularly well. If we can back it up now with a win against Fleetwood then it’s not so bad.
“We’ve been losing games. People will say we’ve been on a bad run, and we have, in terms of points. There’s been lots of things I’ve been encouraged by. It’s important that you stick to your principles and the way you want to play in the hope it will turn. I truly believe that. Today, I don’t think I saw loads of that from my team. The boys have said that themselves in there.
“It was a flat performance when, some of the previous ones, there was flat spots in the Crewe game but we were a lot better on Wednesday night. We created more than we did today. Further back, Wycombe and Norwich we did as well. Today we didn’t create loads but we end up nicking a goal. I’m pleased but I’m not going to overstate it because I want to see better performances than that.”
The hosts’ opening goal was similar in fashion to Oli Finney’s on Wednesday night with an initial shot being palmed out by Henderson and the rebound followed in – but Jackson said he held no blame for the Charlton stopper today.
“Wednesday night, Hendo needs to do better,” he admitted.
“Today, he makes a great save. It’s a really similar goal – I said that to the lads at half-time. We need to be following those in. We have to sense danger and fear the worse. I think Hendo was outstanding today. Was a great save and there’s nothing he can do – the guy follows it in. There were another couple of saves in the first-half at 0-0 to keep us in it. He was critical of himself on Wednesday. I was critical of the goals – not just him, of everyone. I thought he did well today.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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