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Gillingham 1 Charlton Athletic 1

Seven more changes from Nigel Adkins tonight, include the dropping of skipper Jayden Stockley, and it really was sh1t or bust for the Addicks manager. By the end what we had was probably our best 45 minutes of the season followed by a reverting to type.

In isolation it was a good game bearing in mind where the two teams are in the table, and I’d always take a point from the Medway as we never play well down there. That’s okay if we’re hanging around the top end of the table, but sadly we are not and in the much grander scheme of things, the 90 minutes did little to convince me that we have what it takes to get ourselves into a position to challenge for promotion.

The Gills were there for the taking in the 1st half, they had some key personnel missing and Steve Evans must have looked at our line-up over his pile of chicken and chips before the game with great envy.

1st half was good. We sustained a good start unlike in previous matches and played quick on the ground counter attacking football with Elliott Lee, Josh Davison, Conor Washington and especially Corey Blackett-Taylor at our apex of real threat.

Lee scored a very good goal and we should have had more to show for our dominance. We did take the foot of the gas towards the end of the half, but that was quite understandable.

Conor Washington, guilty of missing our best chance to double the lead, had to be taken off at the half due to an injury, which did disrupt our rhythm.

Jonathan Leko, although a threat once or twice going forward, just doesn’t do the up and down graft that the Irishman does, and it showed.

Evans made two changes at the break and they came out firing and between a lack of confidence or game-plan we reverted to the team we have been every other week this season.

We dropped off. Refer to the goal and when they hit the post. We lost any faculty in moving the ball forward quickly on the ground, and instead tippy toed it around the back before hoofing it forward. Then, once we got it forward there was no one galloping up to support. This unlike in the first half when we often had 4 players in their box at an attack.

Davison, who had a good game, did draw a very good save from their keeper, but if anyone was going to score in the last 15 to 20 minutes it was them.

As I said, I’d take a point ordinarily, but we needed three, and that should have been the ambition, but Thomas seemed happy, which is worrying.

Let’s see which 6 or 7 players Adkins brings back for Portsmouth on Saturday. Your guess is as good as mine, but what I do know is that if we don’t start putting points on the board quickly this season will soon become inconsequential.

Mr Positivity: “We’ve had a lot of good opportunities. I thought we played really well, it’s just a shame we didn’t score a few more goals in that important time.”

Photo credit: Kyle Andrews

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Steve #

    CA you too are becoming a Mr Positivity to still be using the P word. The season we last got promoted lost 10 games, only Sept and already at 5. No idea of a preferred formation, starting X1 or style of play. Just a mass of muddled thinking.
    We need change and quickly but I don’t get the sense it’s coming. Let’s hope at the very least we can retain our established league 1 club status.
    What an irrelevance we’ve become in the South London triumvirate except as a laughing stock.

    September 22, 2021
  2. Peter #

    Headless Chicken comes to mind. It’s very difficult being a fan at the moment. We all love our club and want to support our players. But this lottery of selection just isn’t working, we all know consistency is the answer to success on the field. As you say to be happy with a point against the Gills .who are really struggling at the moment, simply isn’t Charlton. I don’t think the season is over for us yet but poor results have to stop and I don’t think any of us are confident that Adkins will select a winning side for Saturday
    Really hoping for a change of mentality at the club, & could they please stop posting that picture of TA playing his guitar. It reminds me of Neru!!

    September 22, 2021
  3. greg brown #

    Another game where Adkins obviously doesn’t know his best eleven…..first half better,but we then reverted to tactics (if you can call it that) from the last six games,when we looked disjointed with no clear purpose and no set formation.
    Thomas seems happy with a point against a side also struggling for results.Maybe he’s afraid of the amount of compensation to be paid if Adkins is shown the door !!!
    The Portsmouth game must surely be make or break time for Adkins.Anything but three points just will not do.

    September 22, 2021
  4. Mike #

    Really good first half, Corey Blackett Taylor and Davidson were both outstanding considering it was their first league start. But as per normal Adkins is already hinted about bringing Stockley back and maybe resting CBT for the Portsmouth game, but waxed lyrical about Gilbey afterwards, he only had that one effort on goal otherwise he did absolutely nothing. So we know he will be in the starting 11 on Saturday. Morgan also played probably his best game in the first half and even Watson had a reasonable first half and was actually looking to play the ball forward.
    Take the break and it was back to old familar, Watson was appalling with mostly looking to pass the ball sideways and backwards and waving his arms to other players to mark and chase players back as he was too slow, why he wasn’t subsituted is beyond belief! Pearce and Lavelle continued to keep passing to one another right across the pitch just in their own half for no reason whatsoever apart to keep the ball and going nowhere, it was infuriating. Yet Adkins said hardly anything about that second half and why they were so bad from the from the first half, just that they should have scored more in the first. It did annoy me that Scott Minto did not ask Adkins once why were the team so negative and poor from the first half performance, when the three of them discuss it prior to his interview. Whats the point of having Adkins coming in after the games when none of these questions are ever put to him? I know you have to tread carefully and be respectful, but it’s the same every week, Minto always hones round the good points which Adkins likes to speak about, but never really speaks about any of the negatives and asks questions on those aspects, it was similar with Bowyer. Please stop this pussyfooting around, if Minto is too afraid to do this, get someone in who will, then at least we can see for ourselves how the manager responds when the chips are down and we can get more of an idea of their true character and how they intend to change things.

    As per you CA I wonder how many changes will be made for the weekend, I know of at least
    two 🙂

    I still don’t think Adkins is the man for Charlton, and would like a change now, but anything less than a win against Portsmouth and he should take the walk.

    September 22, 2021
  5. Shadow Play #

    Maybe it was hoping for a bit much to maintain the level of first half-intensity into the second half. But the game should have been done and dusted by then anyway. Credit to the Gills keeper though for a couple of very good saves.

    The big problem for me with NA is that he doesn’t change things in mid-game when it’s quite clear that they aren’t working or the impact they had was now offering a diminished return. We have the capability to use five subs, last night we only really used two – Stockley came on too late to make a difference while Gilbey/Leko were like for like replacements. It’s been the same in previous matches. Bowyer was adept at bringing subs on, changing formation mid-game and asking a fresh set of questions for the opponents to answer- Adkins by contrast seems to say I’ve set my team and formation out and that’s that, if there’s a Plan B it’s to revisit Plan A. Once teams adapt to our set up for the match then things get difficult. Steve Evans saw his team get over-run in the first half and he must have been relieved to only be one down – the Gills lost 4-1 at home at the weekend, so he must have been dreading another home thumping – but he changed his side and formation. Rather than twist we stuck and didn’t do anything to counter their change in formation and personnel.We had a lot of attacking options on the bench – Kirk could have come on for Washington for example and Leko could have been subbed on to a more central role, Davison ran hard all game, but needed to be withdrawn around the 60 minute mark. A freshened up attack could have regained the first half intensity.

    Despite Thomas Sandgaard’s crisis, what crisis tweet I think he’s seen enough and knows that there needs to be a change of direction. Surely being in the relegation zone is not what he was expecting after 8 games, if at all. Hopefully he’s using this time to scout around for a replacement and maybe review one or two of the CVs that hit his in-tray when Bow left.

    September 22, 2021
    • LP #

      Panic not CA. I guarantee three home wins on the trot as we go on holiday on friday.

      September 23, 2021

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