Saturday 4 March 2023

Down the Football League we go

In line with my Badger League prediction, Charlton lost 2-0 at Plymouth Argyle this afternoon and fell to 16th in the table.

Charlton have now gone seven hours without scoring.

Second half goals from Ryan Hardie - just nine seconds after the restart - and substitute Niall Ennis saw the Pilgrims clinch their 15th home league win out of 17 games this season.

In his four takeaways from the game Louis Mendez notes that Macaulay Bonne has not scored in 420 days:

Charlton had an early opportunity to test Argyle when they were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out after a foul on Jack Payne by Galloway.

The ball was clipped into the box and headed clear out of the penalty area by Wilson as far as Kilkenny, whose strike from distance went harmlessly over the bar.

Jack Payne fired over for Charlton from 20 yards out after the ball was flicked across to him by Kilkenny as the visitors made a confident, purposeful start.

Payne was influential for Charlton, playing in a central position behind striker Macauley Bonne, and from one of his crosses Sean Clare put the ball over the bar.

There was controversy on the stroke of half-time when Argyle were adamant they should have been awarded a penalty for a handball by Hector.  Woolmer awarded a corner instead of a penalty and Argyle continued their protests at the end of the first half as Hardie, Edwards and assistant manager Mark Hughes all went over to the referee.

Charlton took the kick-off after the break and the ball was played back to defender Lucas Ness, who went to hit it forward but had it charged down by Hardie.    The striker then advanced into the penalty area and chipped the ball over the onrushing Maynard-Brewer and into the net for his 16th goal of the season in all competitions.

With the home side in the ascendancy Dean Holden made a triple substitution as Hector, Macauley Bonne and Payne were replaced by Corey Blackett-Taylor, Miles Leaburn and Daniel Kanu.

Charlton had more attacking energy about them after the triple substitution and Argyle had to repel some promising attacks from the Addicks.  Rak-Sakyi sent one header across the face of goal and wide of the far post as Charlton started to enjoy much more possession in the final third and caused some anxious moments for Argyle.

Kanu sent a low shot wide of the far post after a Charlton break before Schumacher made a triple substitution, with Galloway, Azaz and Hardie, replaced by Lonwijk, Niall Ennis and Cosgrove.

Charlton pushed on with increasing urgency as they chased an equaliser and Argyle had to stay strong and look to play on then break, which they did successfully in the 87th minute.  Edwards broke forward and played the ball outside to Wright, whose low ball inside found Ennis and he sent a shot past Maynard-Brewer into the bottom corner of the net.

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