A superb 78th minute free kick from the edge of the box by Ricky Holmes secured Charlton a 1-0 victory over Wimbledon this afternoon. The Addicks remain 4th in the table, behind Bradford City on goal difference. Charlton are now 2nd in the form table.
Once again Charlton played too deep for much of the match and the game plan seemed to be to lump the ball over the midfield where Magennis had difficulty of holding it up. The drawbacks of not having a second striker were plain for all to see. There was also too much playing the ball back to Amos which presumably the players had been told to do. We also surrendered possession too easily.
Wimbledon were very physical and received four yellow cards, albeit one for time wasting by the goalkeeper. When they did have a few chances, they wasted them, demonstrating why they have only scored seven goals so far this season. Their defence looked weak when Da Silva tormented them by dribbling the ball along the ground.
Chances were at a premium in a lacklustre opening period, with Jake Forster-Caskey blazing an early free-kick from a promising position over for Charlton (Holmes should have taken it) and the Dons' Lyle Taylor firing wide when well placed. Tariqe Fosu saw a very half-hearted penalty appeal rightly ignored by referee Ben Toner in the 24th minute after going to ground in the box.
A succession of Wimbledon corners created a period of pressure immediately after the break when the crossbar challenger managed to send the ball wide. Konsa nearly scored an own goal from Fuller's free kick two minutes after the start, but it went just wide of the post.
Fosu's strike was charged down by a Wimbledon defender midway through the second half after being picked out by Jay Dasilva's delivery. Dons substitute Callum Kennedy's 74th-minute free-kick was deflected behind moments before Deji Oshilaja blazed over for the visitors.
But it was Charlton who finally broke the deadlock four minutes later when Holmes won a free-kick inches outside the area on the left after he had been fouled by Wimbledon captain and former Addick Barry Fuller. He stepped up to take the set-piece, drilling his effort which arrowed into the top corner beyond the reach of Wimbledon goalkeeper George Long.
The Dons were denied what would have been a bizarre leveller when a below par Chris Solly headed an attempted clearance on to his own bar. Solly did, however, look better after Marshall came on as a substitute.
Karl Robinson has said that he won't be watching the match back, admitting that Charlton were 'very average'. Key players such as Fosu, Clarke, Magennis and Forster-Caskey were not at their best: Very average
Robinson suggested that Wimbledon fans would be better off supporting their own team rather than hurtling abuse at him: Support your team. Robinson got a chorus of 'Robinson's Red Army' from the Covered End, a significant accolade.
Interesting to see a Wimbledon fan getting off at Leamington. It must have been a frustrating journey.
Referee Kevin Toner had a good game despite criticism in the past from Gillingham that he was fast tracked too soon and was not fit to referee.
Incidentally, sources close to HMRC have confirmed that due diligence is taking place at the club.
Football League Paper player rankings
Amos, 6; Solly, 5; Konsa, 7; Bauer, 6' DaSilva 5 (too low in my view); Forster-Caskey, 5; Kashi, 6; Holmes, 6; Clarke, 4 (Marshall, 70, 5) (on a frustrating day, we thought Clarke had a half decent game); Fosu, 5; Magennis, 6.