Charlton Athletic 1 Nottingham Forest 1
Again, if someone had told us a year ago, even in the middle of the summer, that we’d be gutted not to beat Nottingham Forest in The Championship, then we’d be left with no choice but to unravel that ‘Liar’ banner again.
A sublime first half performance that had Addicks salivating at The Valley and at home sadly couldn’t be sustained, as Forest equalized late to grab a point.
Bowyer made a number of changes as Erhun Oztumer and Sam Field made league debuts and Naby Sarr took Jason Pearce’s place as Bow again showed he is not afraid to make changes depending on the opposition. Deji Oshilaja took Solly’s place at right back and Lyle Taylor was given the armband.
Our passing and movement and speed of thought off the ball was phenomenal in the first 45 minutes, and we could have been two-up before Lyle scored his 4th in four games ending a 22-pass move. The turn of pace and cross from Leko was fantastic as well.
We all thought the same at half-time didn’t we? Damn, we thought, we should be more than 1-0 ahead. We might regret that.
We did. The pace could not be kept beyond the hour mark and I wonder why Bowyer brought two subs on at a corner. He is still learning like most of the players, nearly all new to this level.
Oshilaja and Oztumer had outstanding games, the little Turk unable to last more than an hour, but it was a wonderful intro. Taylor again, wearing the armband, leading by example.
Forest are decent and had a very good win on Saturday, but the fact is, admitted by their manager, we were so much better than they were. Two points definitely dropped but we are enjoying ourselves aren’t we, and this team will get better, fitter and more street wise.
Addicks at The Valley:
Bow: “We deserve more. That first 45 minutes is the best 45 minutes I’ve seen us play since I’ve been in charge.”
Elsewhere: Leeds won late at home to Brentford and Fulham put 4 past Millwall and had 84.5% possession. Cardiff beat Huddersfield late 2-1, West Brom also scored late in the 1-1 draw with Reading, Swansea won at QPR and Stoke lost again, 3-1 at Preston.
Very good performance in the first half but not maintained in the second because some players tired significantly. Oztumer played well but was never going to play 90 minutes, similar with Field. Gallagher tired in the second half which when you remember his age and that this was his third game in 10 days should not have been a surprise. Too many players who were unlikely to last 90 minutes were selected because of late additions to the squad of players who are not 100% fit. Poor Lapslie does not get a look in although two years older than Field and is fit enough to play 90 minutes. To me Lapslie is similar to my old favourite Steve Gritt who covered so much ground during a game. Making two substitutions at a corner was also wrong. When the additions reach match fitness we should be fine.t