Charlton AthleticSport

Richard Cawley’s big-match verdict on Charlton’s 2-1 win at Derby – Nathan Jones’ team are horrible to play against

Charlton Athletic’s players are making great strides under Nathan Jones. Lots and lots of them.

In terms of the fundamentals that the Addicks manager demands then workrate and intensity are right near the very top of the pile.

And both those attributes were there in abundance on Tuesday night as Charlton finally got that winning feeling back.

The fully merited victory at Derby County in midweek halted a winless run of 16 League One matches.

Sometimes a result can feel like it is worth far more than just the points collected. This was validation, if that was really needed, that Jones, appointed boss at the start of February, has the South Londoners firing and heading in the right direction.

The energy levels and competitive edge had been there for draws against Lincoln City, Bolton Wanderers and Saturday’s 0-0 home draw against table-topping Portsmouth.

The fact that Charlton then managed to produce another big performance at the second-placed Rams means they are showing a pleasing consistency which has been absent for so much of an abject and pain-filled campaign.

Charlton Athletic manager Nathan Jones celebrates victory after the final whistle in the Sky Bet League One match at Pride Park, Derby. Picture date: Tuesday February 27, 2024.

The Addicks are horrible to play against right now. They hound, harass and hustle when they do not have the ball.

Jones has shown his experience with his team selections, not being remotely fazed by dropping out established starters to make sure that the team on the pitch at any given moment is able to meet his exacting standards.

There was even better news immediately after full-time at Pride Park. The two clubs immediately below Charlton had suffered setbacks. Cheltenham Town lost 2-0 at Wycombe while Port Vale, 2-0 up in the 88th minute, were pegged back by a quickfire double from former Addicks frontman Jayden Stockley.

The Addicks have a glimmer of daylight between themselves and the relegation zone – although they have played two games more than the clubs in 21st and 22nd position.

But keep performing like they have been doing lately – and there is no reason to suspect they won’t – and Charlton should be able to pull comfortably clear.

Charlton Athletic’s Karoy Anderson during the Sky Bet League One match at Pride Park, Derby. Picture date: Tuesday February 27, 2024.

Derby County head coach Paul Warne had described Charlton’s squad as “very good” in the lead up to the fixture and added they had been under-achieving.

Unfortunately for Warne the Addicks backed up his assertions as they won on their travels for the first time since October 31.

The first half was so lumpy that if the ball could talk it would have asked for a couple of ibuprofen tablets at the interval.

Derby had the lead at the stage thanks to Eiran Cashin, the defender converted at the near post from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing’s corner.

Jones read the riot act to his troops and then also switched it up offensively on the hour mark, Alfie May and Chuks Aneke coming on for Freddie Ladapo and Panutche Camara.

Charlton Athletic’s Thierry Small celebrates victory after the final whistle in the Sky Bet League One match at Pride Park, Derby. Picture date: Tuesday February 27, 2024.

Aneke nearly scored with his first touch seconds later, his close-range header crashing back off the left upright.

Daniel Kanu was tireless up front and his pace won Charlton a penalty in the 64th minute. The youngster raced on to Conor Coventry’s pass and was clipped by Derby keeper Joe Wildsmith.

May stepped up to score his 21st goal of the campaign – 17 of those in the league – with a low finish into the bottom left corner.

Derby took until the 75th minute to exert anything resembling concerted pressure but Charlton’s defensive unit stood firm, Macaulay Gillesphey produced an important block to frustrate Sonny Bradley.

Charlton’s clincher involved their two impressive teenagers, both products of the club’s academy.

Wildsmith initially denied Kanu, slipped in perfectly by Aneke, but the loose ball dropped for Anderson, inset, to lift his shot into the roof of the net.

It was job done – and impressively so. The next challenge is to make it back-to-back league wins for the first time since March 2023.

Derby County’s Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (left) and Charlton Athletic’s Freddie Ladapo battle for the ball during the Sky Bet League One match at Pride Park, Derby. Picture date: Tuesday February 27, 2024.

Conor Coventry. Top of the pile for Charlton in terms of most touches, passes, tackles and interceptions.

Karoy Anderson’s first league goal.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by 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:


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.