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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

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. There seems never to be any mention of Jackson’s role in the blame game, only Bowyer, though of course he is the manager, so perhaps the buck stops there?

    There both rookies and I feel they both may need a mentor and someone who doesn’t make either of them feel threatened.

    Is Curbs that man, I personally don’t know but a mentor I believe is needed!

    January 13, 2021
  2. Daggs #

    Smyth at Right wing-back !! It’s just madness. Bowyer is incapable of learning.

    January 13, 2021
    • I agree, however Bowyer seems to be tearing his hair out trying to find the best combination to counter the injuries. At least him owed up to the mistake, which is a start.

      January 13, 2021
  3. Bob Green #

    Watching the Rochdale game one player stood out Aneke , please don’t leave it to the end of the season Lee,get Aneke to sign a new contract,Oh and get another Centre Back ,I know we have two coming back but one is a loan ,Pearce is not the same player this year .

    January 13, 2021
  4. David Mcnally. #

    Bring Curbs into the mix.
    l b needs experienced guidance from a good friend who talks basic sense every time.
    He should welcome Curbs onboard,

    January 13, 2021
  5. Are we a step closer to seeing Barker at centre back again? Surely he must warrent a place on Saturday’s bench if he’s fit!

    January 13, 2021
    • I’d like to see Barker on the bench. Assume it will be Matthews – Gunter – Deji – Maatsen Saturday unless LB thinks Smyth could play there…. just kidding 😄

      January 13, 2021
  6. Brian Wakefield #

    Great post, agree with every word as that is exactly how I saw it. I did a facebook group post early 2nd half – I think we know Aneke and Schwartz are the real deal, that really did come true didn’t it. We need those 2 up top from here on in, Ronnie will be a helluva player in another 2/3 weeks when he’s fit. Defence picks itself for Saurday, Matthews back in, Gunter and Deji centre backs, Barker has to be on the bench doesn’t he? If not we’re asking for trouble, again!

    January 13, 2021
  7. Daggs #

    I feel Maatsen has gone off the boil and would prefer Purrington there. But he seems to have become a scapegoat for Bowyers failings.

    January 13, 2021
    • Maatsen looks like he’s lacking in confidence. He’s not alone. Purrington deserves a chance and gives us more height.

      January 13, 2021
  8. rierti #

    Neither Barker or Mingi played for the U23s on Monday I was hoping that Mingi was earmarked for last night and Barker held back for FAYC game with Sheffield Utd. But as Mingi was not involved last night and the FAYC game is postponed because of the shutdown they may both be injured. Better news is that promising central defender/fullback Billy French played 45 mins on Monday his first game after a long absence.
    Bowyer’s bizarre team selections continue, I thought that Matthews was one of our best players last season but Smyth was selected. Matthews’ forward runs and quality crosses should have made him the selection. I prefer Matthews to Gunter as a full back in any case.
    George Lapslie is a dyed in the wool CAFC supporter as well as a player and I think deserved a chance following his impressive loan spell at Mansfield as Gilbey continues to fail to impress.

    January 13, 2021
  9. Shadow Play #

    Crazy game…we really need Ben Watson and Darren Pratley back to anchor the midfield. Gilbey as DM (and I hate slagging off our players) was AWOL too often. He should have picked up Lund for the first goal, instead Lund, their top scorer this season, was given time to pick his spot and he didn’t waste the opportunity. That’s pretty basic stuff, I doubt that either Watson or Pratley would have made that mistake. Gilbey also gave the foul away that lead to their fourth. But with players out injured/suspended Bow’s hands were somewhat tied. The other two goals were avoidable as well but were well taken by a young player with a bit of pace and an eye for goal.

    Ronnie Schwartz scored the sort of goal that we’ve been missing this season – I could not see Bogle getting that kind of first touch finish, at least from that distance. He’s only had a few training sessions and tired towards the end, starting v Posh might be a bit early for him but he’ll be a regular starter before long. Chuks meanwhile needs to be nursed through games – can he do two starts in a week?

    January 13, 2021

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