Wednesday 2 December 2020

Valley of frustration

The last time Charlton had fans in the ground they lost to Doncaster and tonight they went down 0-1 to MK Dons.  They nearly equalised in time added on, but Pratley's shot came off the underside of the bar.

It cannot be said that the result was an unfair reflection of the game.  The visitors were fluent and moved well.  They were strong in the counter attack.  The Addicks lacked movement and were often too slow.

One question that arises is whether squad rotation means that the players are not familiar enough with each other and cannot anticipate moves.

The visitors started brightly and Fraser proved to be a danger man.  Watson was turned twice by Fraser and Amos had to make a good save from him.  Jerome was allowed to drift inside, requiring superb defending by Amos.   Visiting manager Russell Martin got a yellow card.

Fraser went down and was less lively for the rest of the half.   Pratley put in good defensive work.  Charlton were giving away too many fouls.   They were often sloppy in their own half.

Pratley got a yellow card.   On 38 minutes Charlton had the best chance of the half when Matthews put in a good ball but Washington was unable to make use of it.  Gilbey put in a good cross, but Washington was unable to connect.

In the three minutes added on Charlton applied some pressure, but then Amos had to make another save.

In the first half MK had six shots to one from Charlton and three of them were on target.

HT: 0-0

Maddison replaced Shinnie after the break and he did add some quality.  Charlton appeared to move to a 4-3-3 formation.  Amos had to make a couple of good saves.   On 59 minutes Bowyer made a double substitution, Aneke replacing Bogle and Williams coming on for Morgan.   

Seven minutes later Famewo replaced Watson.  It was good to see him back as he did add some stability to the defence.   Richard Cawley said that it was the only positive of the night.

Matthews was taken out and Lewington received a yellow card.  Charlton attacked well, but the ball fell to Pratley who put it over.

On 75 minutes Fraser put the visitors ahead.  It was a great finish, but followed some poor defending.

Maddison put a good ball in, but Aneke was unable to make use of  it.

In time added on Maddison put in a good ball, Aneke did well and it looked as if it was going in but it came off the underside of the bar from Pratley.

Charlton are fourth in the table, seven points behind Hull in first place.

Shell shocked supremo Lee Bowyer told Richard Cawley: 'It was a tough night. Everything we set out to do first half it worked. We knew they'd play riskily from the back, we knew we'd win it but we kept messing up that last pass or cross.'

He continued, 'We could've gone top two, being at home - everyone would be expecting us to win. But these aren't a bad side. They take risks but if they beat the press they can hurt you up top. Fraser is very good. Jerome is still a good player.'

He added, ''m pleased to see the fans back in. I'd have liked it to have been a bit more positive for the fans. They've been away for so long I would've liked them to pick the lads up when it's not going so well. I'm glad they are back in. I wish they were a little more vocal.'

I thought the crowd was quite subdued, but it's difficult when just 2,000 people are socially distanced. Bowyer's remarks have not gone down well with fans.

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