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Four takeaways from Charlton’s 2-0 win over Barnsley: Lucas Ness shines but play-offs still way off

Charlton made it three league wins on the spin with a 2-0 victory over Barnsley at The Valley. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the clash.

A TOUGH ENCOUNTER

The score line may suggest this was a routine home win. The reality was anything but. The Addicks found a way to win, riding their luck at times in the first half. But they they’ve found plenty of ways to lose games they should have won this season so it was encouraging to see them claim a maximum from an encounter that could have gone either way.

Barnsley certainly edged the opening 20 minutes but Charlton broke the deadlock with a devastating run and finish from Tyreece Anthony Tupac Shakur Campbell. That was his first goal in senior football for the club.

The Tykes still managed to rattle the crossbar twice before the interval. But despite continuing to enjoy a good deal of possession – 67 per cent in the second-half- the clearcut chances dried up for Michael Duff’s side and Charlton finished them off through Jes Rak-Sakyi’s tap in.

It wasn’t easy, especially with Steven Sessegnon limping out of the warm-up and new arrival Todd Kane being withdrawn through injury just before the break. But Charlton got over the line.

Picture: Paul Edwards

LUC NESS MONSTER

Lucas Ness is an absolute animal. The 20-year-old was on loan with National League Torquay earlier this campaign but was recalled when the Addicks defence was decimated by an injury crisis. And the youngster hasn’t looked out of place since returning.

Second only to Ryan Inniss with an impressive seven clearances, Ness also made five interceptions -three more than anyone else on the pitch – throughout the afternoon. He helped to keep the Tykes at bay. The former Met Police player has come into a defence that has suffered with wild lapses of concentration this season so will be pleased with how easy he’s made the step-up look.

He showed some versatility too, drifting out to left of a back-three after the break. We did see him play at full-back in pre-season at times but he’s proving a really useful asset to have at the club. With Sessegnon and Kane both withdrawn through injury, that adaptability could be crucial.

Picture: Paul Edwards

BONNE WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE

Macauley Bonne is back in SE7 and played like he felt he had something to prove. And he probably does. Out of favour with QPR, the striker’s loan at Ipswich Town last season started well but tailed off. He bagged 11 goals in his first 16 appearances in all competitions for the Tractor Boys but only one in his remaining 27.

His 11 goals during the 2019/20 Championship season with Charlton wasn’t a bad return – but his form dwindled. He still bagged three goals in the nine games following the return from Covid but also missed some important chances as the Addicks were relegated.

Those misses, coupled with a slow start to the next campaign before his departure for the R’s means he needs to prove his worth. He ran around a fair bit and played an important role in the second goal as well. It will be interesting to see how he fares over the rest of the campaign.

PLAY OFF CHASE

Some are starting to get carried away with the fact that Charlton have won three in a row in League One. The result saw the Addicks cut the gap to the Tykes, who currently occupy sixth, down to just six points. But Michael Duff’s side do hold two games-in-hand over the Addicks.

The shift in momentum has been a welcome change for a Charlton side who have just come off the back of their second eight-game winless streak this campaign. And it’s because of those barren spells that the task is harder than perhaps some think.

Holden has refused to be drawn into any conversations about a late charge for the top six and that’s wise. It’s still a mammoth task. Reaching the average 75 points required for play-offs would require over a 50% win ratio for the rest of the campaign. It truly would be a remarkable feat for this squad that have been way too inconsistent this year.

PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS

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