BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer had stopper Ben Amos to thank for securing a point against high-flying Sunderland at The Valley.
The custodian made a string of decent saves to stop the Black Cats breaking through as the South Londoners escaped with a goalless draw despite not create anything in the way of clear-cut chances themselves at the other end.
Visiting defender Tom Flanagan was sent off fifteen minutes from time for tripping Conor Washington as the forward looked to bear down on goal but the hosts were unable to make the extra man count – even with new signing Marcus Maddison introduced late on.
Bowyer said: “Ben Amos, I thanked him for that point today. He’s the reason we got that point. He made some great saves. Ben Watson dived in front of a few. We’re low on bodies. To play Ben Watson for 90 minutes after 60 minutes on Wednesday – that’s going to be much better for us in the long run. When we come back, we know he can play 90. Is he rusty? Yes. Same as Maddison when he came on. Because when he gets the balls in those positions he picks people out.
“Our delivery from set-pieces was poor today as well. There’s a lot of thing I wasn’t really happy with but to take a point from a strong Sunderland side, I can’t really grumble too much. I’m happy, but I’m not happy.
“We got into some good positions once they went down to ten men. Don’t forget, if he hadn’t brought him down he probably goes on and scores. In a way I’m thinking it’s positive they’re down to ten men but negative he was through one on one with the goalie. There were good things and bad things today, I’ll try to look at the good things.
“I think a point against a strong Sunderland side – I think they’ll be up there at the end of the season. They’ve got some good players in that side, good experience and some good legs. They’re better now than when we played them before. The situation with us and the state our squad is in at the moment then I think it is a it a good point.
“[Charlton’s performance was] not good enough. That’s not what I’m used to seeing. I think we looked nervy in possession at times, a lot of the time. We gave the ball away far too much. That’s not like us at all. They were a lot better than us first-half, they were braver in possession. It was a battle in the first half, who could get their outside centre halves to be brave and step in and they won that battle.
“I changed it and tried to out Alfie [Doughty] up top as a second striker to prevent that and have a presence up top. Even then, we had an extra body in midfield but didn’t capitalise on it. We gave the ball away in midfield too much, that’s why.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS/ PAUL EDWARDS
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