Charlton shared the spoils with Burton Albion after a rollercoaster game at the Pirelli Stadium. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the trip to Staffordshire.
Chaotic. Charlton cruised into a two-goal lead, completely against the early run of play, with less than 10 minutes to go before the break. That they managed to throw that away before half-time and then fell behind shortly after the restart was nothing short of outrageous.
Jes Rak-Sakyi’s lofted finish inside the final 15 minutes rescued a point for the Addicks but it has to be seen as another two dropped after finding themselves in such a commanding position early on.
Burton, who are bottom of League One but had lost just one of their last six at home in all competitions before kick-off, certainly started the stronger before Charlie Kirk’s quickfire double. But the hosts took advantage of Charlton’s generous defending to turn it around and were in the ascendancy for long spells before the late leveller.
An entertaining game but that’s now three without a league win for the South Londoners – who can’t afford many prolonged winless runs if they’re to keep pace with the top six.
KIRK LOOKS MORE SETTLED
Kirk’s second and third goals of the season were both things of beauty – and the first he has bagged since being asked to play alongside Jayden Stockley. The finish across the Burton stopper to break the deadlock was perhaps more difficult than it looked. And the deft lob to double the advantage just 10 minutes later was superbly executed.
It’s no secret that the former Crewe man struggled after arriving at The Valley last season. His loan to Blackpool in the second-half of the campaign left his Addicks future in doubt. But he is getting much more game time this year and seems to have settled better down south.
He still needs plenty more days like yesterday before we can say he’s rediscovered the form that saw him bag close to double figures in two consecutive seasons for Crewe. He’s ticking over reasonably nicely now with three goals to his name and the joint-most league assists (four) for the Addicks as well. He needs to find more consistency in order to have that positive affect on games more often.
That’s now nine goals the Addicks have shipped in their last three league outings. They’ve also scored seven in that time but only have two points from a possible nine to show from it because they are so unreliable at the back.
Injuries to Eoghan O’Connell, Mandela Egbo and Terell Thomas, coupled with Sean Clare’s suspension yesterday, has halted any hopes of the South Londoners fielding a settled back four.
But there’s no excuses for what the Addicks served up at the back at Burton. A simple set-piece header, a chaotic second where there were ample opportunities to get rid and a third where Victor Adeboyejo was allowed all the space he needed to measure the perfect shot. A major concern because Charlton’s recent free-scoring form at the other end is being wasted.
WOLLACOTT AND MACGILLIVRAY
It was desperate to see Joe Wollacott being withdrawn from the warm-up at the Pirelli Stadium yesterday. The clash was to be his last Addicks game before being flown out to Qatar to compete in the World Cup as part of the Ghanaian squad. Everyone involved with the Addicks will keep everything crossed that his finger isn’t as badly hurt as feared and he’s still able to represent himself, his club and his country on the biggest stage of them all.
The setback meant that Craig MacGillivray was required between the posts a week earlier than expected. The next month or so will be massive for Macca. He had his issues last year, particularly with coming and commanding his area. It was no surprise that he found himself playing second fiddle to Wollacott at the start of this campaign.
He needs to refamiliarize himself with the role and try to win Garner’s trust. It was a decent enough start for him yesterday, bar one early slightly fumbled cross. He kept a number of Burton efforts out with a succession of tips over the bar and couldn’t have done much more about the goals he conceded. Let’s see how he goes over the next few weeks.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:
“A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or, please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ