Charlton lost 2-0 to Hull City this afternoon at the KCom stadium, but it could have been even worse. Hull had a tiger in their tank, but Charlton certainly didn't. Curbs said afterwards, 'It never looked as if we were going to get anything today.'
Sloppy defending saw Charlton go 1-0 down in the first half. They looked livelier at the start of the second half, but then Darren Pratley got sent off for a petulant kick on 63 minutes. After that, Charlton were chasing the game.
Throughout the game, Charlton were disorganised and lacked creativity. The midfield did not contribute a great deal.
Charlton now face a crucial match against Accrington Stanley at home on Saturday. They will be without Pratley, albeit a mixed blessing, and up against former Leamington ace Colby Bishop. At least the transfer window is open. Meanwhile, the anti-Bowyer group are already out on social media.
Charlton remain 6th in the table, but teams around them now have games in hand, three in the case of Accrington Stanley.
After their fortnight without a game, Hull looked eager and were out of the blocks quickly and won a corner after three minutes. After Morgan was fouled, the Addicks had a free kick in a promising position, but Pearce headed over after Forster-Caskey had put the ball in.
Watson had to go off on nine minutes with what looked like a hamstring problem. Gilbey came on in his place, but never shone.
Charlton's play was ragged and their passes were not crisp. Hull were given acres of space and Pratley was nowhere to be seen. With no one marking and awful defending, the ball took a deflection and Adelakun had no difficulty in making it 1-0.
A Pearce header were straight at Long in the Hull goal. The Charlton defence were caught out again and Eaves was given a free header from a free kick which fortunately went straight at Amos. When Charlton did keep possession, and it was apparently 64 per cent in the first half, it was not beyond the halfway line most of the time. Indeed, the Addicks had just three shots on goal.
An unforced error by Pratley led to a Hull throw in. Around the 30 minute mark Charlton managed to create a little bit of pressure with Maatsen winning an unproductive corner. The lumbering Bogle then missed an opportunity on 33 minutes through failing to connect cleanly with the ball after Pearce headed it down from a corner.
A deflection from Gunter could have led to an own goal. A Hull shot was fortunately wide. Forster-Caskey put in a decent free kick leading to a Charlton corner. There was some kind of incident that appeared to involved Gilbey. Both captains were spoken to and then the referee ran over to speak to the managers for some time. It was not clear what they were supposed to do and meanwhile the lino had to keep order on the pitch.
In the four minutes added on Charlton had a huge let off when a Hull shooting opportunity was blasted over. Charlton applied some late pressure, but a chance from a free kick was wasted.
Smyth replaced Bogle at half time, but failed to make any real impact. Charlton changed to three at the back and a five man midfield and Hull did find this harder to cope with compared with the 4-4-2. However, although there was more urgency and Charlton built well, there was no end product. Meanwhile, Matthews had to put in good defensive work on the edge of the penalty area to avoid another Hull chance.
Williams replaced Morgan on 60 minutes, but was not the talisman hoped for. What about Maddison?
After a consultation with the lino, Pratley got a straight red. At first it appeared to be for telling the lino what he thought of his use of the flag, but replays showed that Pratley had backed into Wilks and then directed a petulant kick at him. Subsequently, Pearce showed his frustration and got a yellow card for dissent.
Once again the defending was not good enough. With Matthews on the floor, Wilks hit the post with a header and then Docherty made it 2-0 with a good finish.
Forster-Caskey got a yellow card and later there was a risk of a second.
A Hull free kick from just outside the penalty area hit the side netting, but the home side seem satisfied enough with two goals and a clean sheet.
Curbs said before the game that we needed to make a statement in this game, unfortunately it was the wrong sort of statement, but he was right when he said the first goal would be really important. He also repeated his mantra of 'consistent team, consistent results.' Once again I was left feeling he would like to come in as a technical advisor which could be a good idea.
Meanwhile, Friday's game becomes a really big one. Pratley faces a three match ban when we lack defensive cover.