Goals from Jonathan Leko and Jayden Stockley ensured Charlton gained just their second win of the League One season as they held on to a big three points on the Fylde Coast. Here are Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the game against Fleetwood Town at Highbury Stadium.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF THAT WIN
I don’t think it can be overstated quite how important that three points was for all concerned with the club. In simple league table terms, losing today would have left the Addicks seven points behind Fleetwood and still at least four from safety – a gap that could have demoralisingly grown even further before Charlton were back in league action after the international break. For Nigel Adkins, it lifts some of the pressure that had built up and spilt over during the dreadful start to the season. And for the fans that made the trip to the Fylde Coast, it’s a first away win in front of supporters since February 2020 – no matter how poor the season has been so far, days like this are to be cherished for those who travel the length and breadth of the country. Don’t let this be a false dawn, like the win over Crewe was.
CHARLTON WORTHY VICTORS
The most encouraging thing about today is that Charlton were good for their victory. It became a bit harum-scarum as they clung on under an aerial bombardment in the closing stages but Charlton created plenty, scored two very good goals and on the whole defended a lot better – although I concede this is just one game. Craig MacGillivray did have one big stop to make in the first half but was generally comfortable. Jonathan Leko was an almost constant threat and I enjoyed Elliot Lee’s industry and creativity between the lines. Josh Davison was unlucky not to add to his two goals in two games as well.
CHARLIE KIRK HAS ARRIVED
That was Charlie Kirk’s best game in a Charlton shirt. Returning after a spell out of the side, he was involved in many of the South Londoners’ better moments. There is, and still needs to be, plenty more to come from the young winger but he arrived at the club under very difficult personal circumstances and with a weight of expectation upon his shoulders. But he was an option out wide today, got the assist for the opening goal from Leko and at least got in a position to waste a good first-half chance as he fired wide from a Lee pullback. Better.
I don’t think Jayden Stockley would have been dropped at all had he been receiving the sort of service from out wide that led to his goal today. Leko in particular kept delivering from wide areas – his assist led to the winning goal. Stockley made short work of the ball in for the game-clincher and I reckon he’ll have been as frustrated as anyone that the Addicks haven’t played this sort of football, on the floor and using the width of the pitch, enough before the last handful of games. One benefit of that though is that we’ve seen Josh Davison come in and have a run of good games – now there is real competition for that striker’s berth whereas before Davison was still considered by many as an unknown quantity.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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