Saturday 19 December 2020

Charlton fail to hold on to lead again

A 89th minute equaliser from Swindon saw Charlton draw 2-2 at the County Ground this afternoon.  Once again there was a lapse of concentration late on following a failure to manage the game.   It felt like two points lost rather than one gained.   Charlton stay 7th, just outside the play off zone.

In the studio Alan Curbishley said that he did not feel comfortable with the last 10-15 minutes and I have to agree with him.  He felt that perhaps the substitutions and the change of shape as Charlton went to a back five may have helped Swindon to get back into the game. 

Swindon are something of a bogey team for us and I would have taken the point before the game, but what became evident was that the Robins are in the relegation places for a reason - poor quality.  But then we don't show much quality, or at least not for long enough spells.

Some fans will blame the absence of Williams and there is no doubt that he has a fans' favourite, but Lee Bowyer is able to observe him at the training ground all week.   Others would like to start with Aneke rather than Bogle, but it has to be remembered that Aneke can only last 60 minutes.  Bogle did manage to score in the first half, but then missed a chance to make it 2-1.

Another frustration was that the Addicks got caught offside several times.   I don't think Swindon were particularly playing an offside trap, rather Charlton players managed to get themselves into an offside position.

Charlton appeared to start off with the diamond.   Gilbey crossed into the box, but there were no grey shirts there to take advantage.   Swindon were under some pressure, but managed to defend just above well enough, managing to avoid a Charlton corner (which did not come until past the half hour mark).

Washington put the ball wide, emphasising that we need more composure in front of goal.  Watson had to make a great stop.

Swindon decided to apply some pressure and made it 1-0 on 24 minutes through Jayesimi.   The goal was largely the result of some poor defending with opportunities to get the ball clear not being taken.

Following the two first Charlton corners, a poor Pratley header went well wide.  On 36 minutes Bogle, who had not received particularly good service, just about managed to get round the keeper to make it 1-1 in front of the Buzz Gym Town End.   As already noted, he then missed a chance to score his second.

A Swindon free kick led to a Swindon corner but the ball was blasted over.

HT: 1-1

At the break Aneke replaced Bogle.   Swindon won a corner too easily with Gilbey largely at fault.  I didn't think that he contributed much.   Forster-Caskey received a yellow card for a foul.  Aneke was caught offside again.

On 60 minutes Charlton managed to spring the offside trap, or at least the officials were happy that they did.  Washington turned provider for Aneke who tapped the ball in to make it 1-2.  Swindon immediately swapped strikers.

Forster-Caskey was replaced by Purrington, probably because he was on a yellow card and the referee seemed to be watching him.   The difficulty was that Charlton then started inviting Swindon to come on to them rather than rocking the Robins.   For example, Swindon were given too much space to win a corner.  In a spell of driving wind and rain Pratley had to put in good defensive work.

Maddison, who had not particularly impressed, was replaced by Matthews, although apart from one run forward, he was disappointing.   Gilbey shot well over.

Purrington received a yellow card and Amos had to punch out the free kick.  He then claimed the following attempt.   In general he commanded his area well.

When Charlton get a corner, I don't expect it to result in anything and that was the case throughout this match.  When the opposition get a set piece, I get worried.  Swindon got a corner on 89 minutes and somehow got the ball under the bar with substitute Brett Pitman nodding it in off the bar.   The reaction of the home fans told you everything you had to know.

In four minutes added on Charlton had a late flurry but to no effect, although at least it avoided a 3-2.

Two consolations: Palace lost 0-7 at home and my non-league team, Leamington, beat Wrexham 6-5 on penalties at the Racecourse Ground in the FA Trophy.

Lee Bowyer told BBC London: 'Hugely disappointed. There's no way we should be leaving here with one point after the chances we created. Second-half, we should have scored 3,4 goals. Our decision making has cost us today.'

The shell shocked supremo added: 'There's no way we should let them off like that. We weren't clinical in front of goal and if you don't take your chances, then that can always happen. From nothing, we were comfortable and we just have to see it out. Again, we've dropped two points.'


  1. Maybe one day Bowyer will realise putting on defensive subs. to protect a single goal lead for twenty minutes doesn't work. It simply invites pressure. HIS decision making cost us.

  2. Unfortunately you are right. Would it be good to have Alan Curbishley in an advisory role? He could see the problems.

  3. It would be good, but I doubt Curbs. would want the role. Nor would Bowyer welcome someone above him Re. team selection tactics etc.

  4. Again I think you are right as Bowyer can be headstrong. In that case there is no clear way of helping him with his decision-making.