Charlton Athletic 4 Rochdale 4
That was like watching us in the late 70’s. For those of you old enough to remember. Soul destroying, uplifting and slapstick in equal measures.
In all honesty the first half was pretty abominable. Our five man defence parted like the Red Sea on numerous occasions, and yes Rochdale probably couldn’t believe their luck as they hit goal of the season bingo with every effort on target, but it was another harrowing start to the first half. Well the middle, and end too.
Bowyer really did play Paul Smyth at right wing back didn’t he? He apologized afterwards. We all sat at home with our head in our hands as the 17-year old Kwadwo Baah embarrassed our defenders twice his age and 1,000 plus appearances more.
2-4 at the break, but pulling back a couple of goals still didn’t seem beyond us, especially if Aneke managed to do a full day at the office. The problem was how many would bottom four Rochdale get? As the table stood we had let in 12 goals in four and a half games to the bottom sides.
Once again Bowyer had to change his side at half-time. He dispensed with Smyth and Gilbey, who has no endearing features at all. On came Morgan and Schwartz and Williams and Aneke were allowed to risk life and limb by playing more than 45 minutes.
And we were fired up. A good move was started and ended by Aneke who dove to head in a Gunter cross…. the real Chris Gunter with 99 Wales caps, not the bloke who has been imitating him for the last few weeks.
Then we were off to the races. Suddenly our midfield were actually passing to each other, and, get this, forwards. Aneke and Schwartz were ripping Dale’s defence apart and they combined for the Dane to sweep home a lovely goal to get him off the mark.
Please 🙏 Lee, can we just not play Chuks and Ronnie every week? Andy Nelson always played Flanagan and Hales even though we’d let in four most games.
With fully 25 minutes left we should have won the game. There was attack, and scrambles and then the moment came. Millar broke from very deep with pace, played in Chuks, who got himself into the box, but his shot was finger tipped around the post.
I was up on the chair at that point after being cowered underneath it for the first half.
Then Pearce attempting to score was unfairly sent off for a second booking, which kind of ended any late chance of us grabbing a winner. Jason will now miss Saturday. Maybe his imitation will be better, it won’t be hard.
A chaotic game where defensively we were abhorrent again, but there was fight and a spirit to get back into the game. One for the non-existent neutral in the crowd at least.
Possibly, maybe something to build on. Now stick Ronnie and Chuks in the ice bath together and play them from the start on Saturday. Don’t worry about the defence let’s just try to score one more goal than the opposition!
📢: “They couldn’t handle him, he was exceptional. He deserved to get a hat-trick and he was by far the best player on the pitch. I had to leave him on there. Every minute he stayed on there was a risk. But we know what he can bring.” – Lee Bowyer on Aneke
🖋: Drinking During the Game; Blackheath Addick; Addicks Third Division Diary.
📷: Paul Edwards