Tuesday 23 February 2021

Valley of Despair

One of my friends said at the weekend, 'The one thing I don't want to hear is "We go again on Tuesday."'

Bottom club Burton Albion completed the double over Charlton with a 2-1 victory at The Valley tonight.  Charlton opened the scoring on 9 minutes through Stockley.

Charlton were controlling the game for the first 20 minutes, but I noted that Burton were getting back into it.  A lack of concentration at the back allowed Burton to equalise.

Charlton never really got into the game in the second half and after Burton scored their second goal, they chased the game in a frantic and ineffective manner.  A series of substitutions made little or no difference.  As Curbs noted afterwards, Burton got stronger as the game went on.  If it hadn't been for Ben Amos, Charlton might have lost by a bigger margin.

Charlton's faint hope of  promotionhas gone which is probably just as well as they would struggle to survive in the Championship.  The focus now has to be on rebuilding in the summer.

The best part of the evening was the interview with Morts beforehand and he said afterwards that Charlton should have got tighter to stop the two goals.

Bowyer said: 'We started well, the change of shape worked, the right personnel, our second goal was onside.  Our decision-making in the final third was not good enough.  I don't think we deserved to lose the game.  I said to the players, "I'm embarrassed."   I will take the blame.  We will move on and go again Saturday.'

Minto asked whether it was mental, physical or tactical? Bowyer said that players can take their foot off the pedal, it happens too many times.   'In football, you have to be at it..  There are things I can't control, their finish or their final pass.'  Minto asked why the attacking substitutions didn't work.  Bowyer replied, 'They're [Burton are] solid, they are hard working honest lads.'   He added, 'Wrong decision at times, just taking care.'

Minto: 'Why it's not clicking?'.   Bowyer: 'We can't keep conceding and switching off, sloppy defending. How many times do you keep saying the same thing?   I've got to put this right.   I'm not making any excuses, we should have won tonight.  It's up to me now to try and put it right.'

Bowyer's remarks before the game were sadly prescient when he said that the players were a pleasure to watch in training and we had to take that into the game.   What was needed was to make the right decision at the right time, 'I can't control it.'

Morts commented, 'Blackpool will say "we know what we need to do on Saturday."'

The match

Charlton had a chance to go ahead on two minutes when Purrington fed Oshilaja who put in a good cross, Stockley made a great leap but the keeper dived to the right to divert the ball on to the bar.

On eight minutes following good hold up play by DJ allowed Shinnie to do well and win Charlton a corner. Before the game Stockley said the first 10 minutes had not gone to plan in recent games, but he was able to put in a powerful header to make it 1-0.

After a move started by DJ, Millar won a free kick in a good position.  Shinnie's effort was a good one and he hit the crossbar.  If that had gone in, it would have been a very different game.

Oshilaja conceded an avoidable corner and Burton showed intent by putting the ball in the side netting. Following a throw in, Smith was allowed to waltz into the area unchallenged (admittedly he would be expected to be on the right) and former Aldershot Town ace Fondup was able to equalise.

Matthews headed away a free kick conceded by Oshilaja.  Purrington won Charlton a corner and there was good subsequent play on the left but no final product.

With Wallace going down, Rowe replaced him.   Watson conceded a free kick and Amos saved from Rowe.  Fed by Matthews a Stockley header came off the bar.  Oshilaja followed through and put the ball in the net, but an offside decision was given.

HT: 1-1

On 49 minutes there was a moment on real danger when Matthews played a loose ball.   On 52 minutes Rowe had acres of space to power down the pitch and put in a ball that looped over Amos to make it 1-2.  After that Charlton were chasing the game and forgetting how to pass.

On 55 minutes DJ was taken off and Aneke came on, I was disappointed that he didn't start.  The best chance for Charlton in the half came on 62 minutes when Purrington drew a fingertip save from the keeper.  A Pearce header lacked the pace to trouble the keeper.

An effort from Hamer glanced off the bar and may have gone in if it hadn't been for a slight deflection from Millar.  Purrington and Pearce came off and Maatsen and Schwartz came on, but neither of them make a difference, particularly the Danish pastry.   Aneke won Charlton a corner but it was unproductive.

Charlton were becoming increasingly frenetic, exemplified by Millar shooting wildly over when he could have put the ball down on the ground in the area.

Amos made a good save from Rowe.  Smith replaced Watson but didn't get a touch.  Amos had to save from Rowe again in the five minutes added on.


  1. Indefensible. The idiot Bowyer has to go NOW.

  2. Bowyer isn't on the pitch when players make sloppy errors.

  3. Wyn, your blind loyalty to the useless article is wearing me down. I better start posting elsewhere.

    1. Might be a plan. Notice you don't put forward your choice of replacement.

  4. You wouldn't get someone good in at this stage of the season.