Bristol Rovers 0 Charlton Athletic 1
Much better. It wasn’t just the result, although did we need it, it was more than that. It was more like the Lee Bowyer’s Charlton we know.
We played an uncomplicated 4-4-2 which allowed us to move up and down the pitch quickly using attractive link play and both wings. A solid back four earned us a long overdue clean sheet and gave us a concrete base to build on. Then up front we created copious chances, and eventually won the game with a fluky goal.
It was nice to see us dominate a game again, and players quick to close down opponents, be assertive out of possession, and creative and positive in.
Of course at the end we were hanging on a bit. Down to 10 men due to Morgan’s naivety, although he was excellent throughout, we had to rely on some good fortune as we were made to watch the clock slowly eat the 5 minutes of added time.
Chuks lasted 70 minutes and should have had at least a couple of goals to his name, but he was a real handful again. Ronnie Schwartz came on and fell over the ball with the goal at his mercy, and then cleared a shot off Rover’s line from our own player. He played his part though, even though Morgan’s dismissal changed his role.
Even Bogle looked as if he knew the game plan and put in a shift, but should have finished the contest late on when he got through one-on-one.
Another habit Bowyer broke today was putting on like-for-like subs, which simply meant we didn’t miss a beat. Even Gilbey was brought on when Morgan was dismissed.
I thought Washington was a little quiet today, Williams played well, but Liam Millar was particularly good. He is very able at moving quickly up the pitch with the ball at his feet, which forces defenders to backpeddle. He and Maatsen have a good little thing going on the left side, although the Chelsea loanee’s passing was often wayward.
It was Oshilaja and Forster-Caskey who were stand-outs though. Deji showed excellent positional sense, was strong in the tackle and confident with the ball. He has to be ahead of Pearce.
And JFC was a constant positive force. His heat map must have had an awful of red marks on it. Great performance from him.
Rovers weren’t great but they can’t be any worse than the other teams down there that have taken a lot of points of us.
On to Tuesday where we will need to be better still.
📢: “Fair play to Deji, he’s not played many minutes and he’s been out injured and has had to wait his time, today he came in and was excellent – on the ball, off the ball, looked very physical and strong in the air, didn’t get rolled or turned, I thought it was a very good performance from Deji.”
🖊: Albury Addick; Drinking During the Game; Blackheath Addick; Addicks Third Division Diary.
📷: Kyle Andrews