Tuesday night down The Valley again saw The Addicks take a first half lead against one of The Championships in form sides but unlike Saturday Charlton could not hold out for all three points.
Love a Tuesday night game under the lights always brings a good atmosphere and normally a decent game too and last nights game was no different!
Before the game had a few drinks with friends in Bartram's until it got so unusually packed that you had to shout for the person next to you to hear you & this was still over half an hour before kick off. This unusual overcrowding I think was due to many supporters not taking up crossbars and the various other suites around the ground due to the increase in prices this season, I for one used to be a member of crossbars and enjoyed going there before the game but found the price too much the food was really good quality but again all this was more money on top of the membership fee for the season. I see they have made changes to crossbars in recent years all to which I have heard leaving the place half full - A real shame.
Anyway onto the match action... And Wolves were the visitors on a misty/foggy night in SE7. Wolves started the season really well sitting in third spot continuing their fine form from last season when they were crowned The Champions of League One. Sometimes you do get this form from newly promoted sides as their so used to winning games from the season before that they're high on confidence & morale and normally although table topping early on see themselves finish around mid table come the end of the season. We have seen Brentford & Wolves (2nd & 1st last season) do the above this season but could they prove the bookies wrong and mount a promotion charge as there early season surge suggests?
Team News - There was no Chris Solly as expected as he simply cannot play three matches in seven days as unfortunately his knee cannot take it, so in came Joe Gomez who impressed in his last league outing versus Derby.
There was also no Johann Gudmundsson who is still recovering from his knock on international duty, so in came Lawrie Wilson for a deserved start.
Which lined us up as so 4-4-2
So two changes in the starting eleven both forced changes but shouldn't weaken the team too much.
|Teams Coming Out|
A few minutes later the Charlton pressure continued and with only two people to aim for in a crowded box Cousins whipped in a delightful cross right on the head of Tucudean who headed narrowly wide. Again Tucudean had another chance this time seeing his effort come off the upright.. A real lively start with Tucudean looking impressive after a rather poor game against Watford.
|Action from first half|
Wolves then grew into the game, their two pacy wingers Sako and Henry were causing Charlton problems at the back and the latter Henry and a good strike at goal which was well saved by Henderson. These two were really proving to be a handful running in behind the inexperienced Gomez at times but luckily the experienced Ben Haim was there to mop up. Sako then did have a fierce shot at goal but was well saved from Henderson carrying on his fine form from Saturday.
We were twenty minutes in & the game was really end to end with both teams pressing & Wolves having a few decent shots from the edge of the area going narrowly wide. But the first goal of the game came after 24 minutes and from a well overdue goal from a corner from The Addicks & here it is....(It was the only video I took all game & luckily enough it was for a goal) Apologies my video of the incredible acrobatics of Bikey's celebration are slightly missed.
And literally a minute later it should have been 2-0 Vetokele again providing a great chance this time for Tucudean whose effort fired across the keeper and wide a fine chance squandered again.
Wolves came back into it again and again found room on the edge of the box this time George Saville shot beat Henderson but luckily bounced off the inside of the post & away! A real wake up call again for The Addicks who kept giving Wolves too much space & time around the box.
The game carried on being a end to end spectacle and just before half time came our best chance yet to double our lead, a long cross to the far post saw Jackson & Vetokele both jump for the same ball Vetokele nodded back into Tucudean but from a few yards out he embarrassingly missed the ball completely with an air shot & Wolves cleared. Plenty of chances for either side at half time crazy how there was only one goal in the game. Half Time 1-0
The second half saw Wolves making an early sub with Saville being replaced by Dicko - Another pacy player to worry the Charlton defence!The first 15 minutes of the half it was all Wolves they came out all guns blazing with Charlton again on the back foot & not clearing their lines properly. How Wolves didn't score I don't know! Attack after attack peppered Henderson's goal and one forced a fine stop form him when Sako's fierce shot being tipped over the bar. Although the constant pressure Wolves couldn't find the end product with most chances fortunately for us falling to Leon Clarke whose efforts fired wildly over where if he wouldn't of been so greedy could have easily set up players for a more simpler effort on goal.
A sub for Charlton & as usual it was the familiar sight of Tucudean coming off at the hour mark to be replaced by Moussa. Charlton were looking impressive on the counter & it resulted in Yoni Buyens having an effort at goal but was straight at Ikeme. Then came Wolves best chance of the second half the ever impressive Sako fired a low shot & Henderson made a superb stretching save to send the ball round the post. But from the resulting corner the inevitable equaliser came as Danny Batth rose highest in between Ben Haim & Vetokele he headed the ball downwards and Henderson fumbled the ball over the line. 1-1
A real scrappy goal to concede poor marking and Henderson will be disappointed with himself there was a player in front of him blocking his view which did put him off but then again its his duty to have a player there stopping that from happening ,a poor one to concede but again Wolves deserved it.
Peeters changed it up taking off Wilson & bringing on Bulot to make his debut for the club a like for like swap in the right wing position. A few minutes later Wolves then hit the crossbar from a very tight angle James Henry fired in a powerful shot against the upright and wide of goal.
Charlton then went down the other end and had a golden chance to go back in the lead Vetokele lovely cushioned header into the path of Jackson who like the first half saw himself with just Ikeme to beat this time he got his shot away but it was agonisingly wide of Ikeme's goal! Big moment of the match one that normally Jacko puts away!
The last minutes of injury time came and despite Wolves dominance of possession throughout it was Charlton who had another chance to win it... This time Jackson turned provider and slotted a lovely ball through to Vetokele unfortunately Igor couldn't get good enough control on the ball and Ikeme came out strong & gained the ball but had collided with Igor who looked like he picked up a nasty injury to his arm so hopefully its not too serious and he's OK fort Saturday. Full Time 1-1
Overall despite Wolves dominance in possession and their continuted attacks I'd say a draw was a fair result. For the neutral it was a fantastic typical championship game end to end with plenty of chances. I'd say the best chances fell to Charlton in the end and Wolves lacked that extra bite to force Henderson into more than one save in the latter periods.
Here's what I thought of the player performances.
Henderson - Started the game very well came well for crosses and saved well from some good efforts at his goal. Second half made a brilliant stop to deny Sako but from resulting corner fumbled the ball into his net - Again he was put off from the Wolves player in front of him however he should be shouting at his defence to deal with that player rather than result that occurred. So another good performance from Henderson although he would have been disappointed with the goal but one part of his display has also put him in my "Moan of the match" See Below.
Gomez - Made a crucial tackle right at the death to deny Wolves a goal scoring opportunity. At times he showed his inexperience but lets not be silly of course he is the boy is 17 & right back is not his natural position. Looked really good going forward though makes good assertive runs. His only mistakes were when he misjudged the ball and let runners in behind.
Ben Haim - A solid performance from Tal, although the back four found it hard to deal with the pace of Wolves attack , Tal showed his experience at times and made some vital interceptions and helped Gomez out too.. also made one surging run forward too which would be nice to see more of.
Bikey - Hard to pick but he pips Vetokele as my man of the match. A lovely finish for the goal again made some vital interceptions and really roughed up the Wolves attack. Of course he is going to be beat for pace at times but he always runs back as fast as he can and if needed puts in a cheeky foul to hold up play.
Wiggins - Got caught out again on several occasions. Was up against a good winger in Henry though who made life hard for Rhoys but then again Wiggins did make some vital last ditch tackles which at one time saved a near certain goal.
Wilson - An average game from Lawrie unlike Gudmundsson who has many fortes to his game, Wilson's main qualities and his crossing unfortunately we didn't see much of this from him last night. There was one part of the game where Buyens was in acres of space but Lawrie chose not to feed him through which was quite bizarre. Wouldn't say he had a bad game just didn't shine, his will power was there for all to see as always.
Buyens - A usual solid game from Yoni but maybe lacking from his game could be a few efforts on goal.
Jackson - Lost his positioning at times and looked tired in second half, but got in some vital positions and usually would have put them away but unlike him he fired wide.
Cousins - Didn't notice Jordan that much during the game although did make some powerful runs towards end of first half.
Vetokele - Played through some sublime balls and could have easily had three or four assists to his name shame it wasn't him on the end of them.You can see defences are scared of his pace & continued effort. Lets hope his injury is not too bad.
Tucudean - Again showed lots of effort never stopped running about trying to win the ball, but he did miss a lot of good chances and of course as a striker your going to be judged on your goal scoring. We have seen how well he can finish with a quality finish against Derby.. So lets hope his hard work can result in a goal in the near future.
Moussa- Thought again looked lively adds a bit more to the team especially on the counter, unfortunately his decision making let him down again. But in my eyes he really looks a top prospect and cant be judged properly until he starts a whole game.
Bulot - Looked good when he came on was not scared to run at the defence or have a shot, look forward to seeing him more.
Home Fans - A decent atmosphere from The Addicks faithful which lots of Chants of Bobby Peeters Red Army. Seemed to moan at the ref a lot though and use him as a bit of a scapegoat when things wern't going our way. The ref tried to let the game flow a lot which is good to see but should have blown on a few occasions but in fairness I didn't think he was being too harsh on us.. Rather we were all frustrated to Wolves dominance and a lacklustre second half performance.
Away Fans - Wolves brought a good number for a Tuesday night 1644 of them in attendance however you can't judge too much into how many travelled down from the Black Country due to every club having lots of fans living in The Capital, but even still it's a good number. Made good noise after they scored, although during the first half all they had were a few lads at the back who to be fair to them never stopped singing.
Moan of the Match - My moan is simply.. Why was Henderson time wasting when we were drawing?? Time wasting is a part of football we all dislike but of course at times everyone does it is a part of the game. You can understand it when were winning but time wasting when it's 1-1 with half hour to go is very odd & I don't understand his motive behind it?
So onto Rotherham we go still unbeaten & hopefully we see Gudmundsson fit again & that Vetokele's injury is not too serious. Saw a lot of moaning on Twitter last night which I understand after a frustrating result but after looking back the bigger picture is we have made a brilliant start to the season who would have thought we would be 5th?!? And we were playing against another inform side.
Looking forward to a trip to South Yorkshire on Saturday & new ground to take in too, hopefully we can take around 1000 fans to cheer us on for the three points! As Rotherham play in red I say COOOOOMEEE ON YOU BLACK & GREYYYSSSSSS