Burton Albion 0 Charlton Athletic 1
A crazy first half which saw both sides reduced to ten men, but we got our goal and clung onto it like a piece of treasure.
The first half resembled a bundle in the playground as old adversary Trevor Kettle sent off Jayden Stockley and ex-Addick Deji Oshilaja and handed out yellow cards like confetti, including one to Harry Arter who didn’t even get his tracksuit off.
It was hard to see exactly what went on for the sending off, but to me it did look like that Stockley was the main aggressor. Fortunately Kettle also decided to send off the Burton captain to even things up, otherwise Stockley should have felt very embarrassed.
The referee clearly didn’t see the incident and the linesman didn’t look convinced, so surely two yellows what have been more sensible, which is what both the studio and Jacko felt. Old lardy Hasselbaink was close to a heart attack on the touchline and even he and Jacko had a stand-up row during the first half.
Nevertheless just a couple of minutes after Stockley and Oshilaja saw red, we took the lead when a DJ cross was flicked on by Famewo and there was Purrington lurking in the box again to head in.
For the rest of the half we completely controlled the game. Strangely it was like we had 11 and they 10, and in the 2nd half roles reversed as Burton had all of the possession as we soaked it up.
Jacko kept the same shape with ten though and those ten played like their lives depended on it. It was a proper away win as red shirts pressed, tackled and chased every ball. In hindsight apart from one very good MacGillivray save Burton didn’t bother us.
It was an ugly game lacking in any real quality and we were sometimes sloppy in possession, but no one was complaining after as Jacko and his players saluted the tremendous away support who made so much noise it was like a home game.
Special mention to skipper Jason Pearce. This game was perfect for his skill set, but he was outstanding as was Purrington, DJ and Sean Clare who played as the right-sided centre-half. Lee, Gilbey, Dobson and Davison must have each run a half marathon as they covered every blade of grass.
Jacko has now gained more points in 4 league games than Nigel Adkins did in 13. It is almost impossible to remember how bad this team was under Adkins.
The red army is back in full force.
Jacko: “I can’t credit the lads enough. We won in a different way today, we got our goal and I thought we had a real, real good shape about us. They are just running and running and running; I said to DJ, ‘just give me everything until you blow up’. And the lad holds his hand up with 15 minutes to go and says I’m done; he’s cramping in his calves – and that’s what you need. That wholehearted honesty and then someone else could come on and see the game through. That’s what they are doing now, they are just giving me absolutely everything. That’s all I can ask.”
Photo credit: Kyle Andrews
That was a hard fought victory, with teamwork and hard graft at its core. I thought we were maybe a bit too defensive in the second half and probably facing that stick or twist dilemma over whether to push for a second goal or defend what you have already, but there are different ways to win matches and as long as the job gets done and the team play well and put in a shift – and they did, then I don’t mind.
A shame that Jayden Stockley got sent off, but I couldn’t really see who was at fault, it looked like it was a bit of six of one and half-a-dozen of the other. Stockley regularly comes under attention at set-pieces and he doesn’t like giving up any ground. Teams know that he’s the target man in our attack, I presume there was a bit of shirt holding going on or something similar by Deji Oshilaja beforehand that we couldn’t see and that precipitated the reaction and that was that. I’ve no real issue with the red card, if you brawl in football then that’s what you risk getting. We will be missing him for the Plymouth match next week along with Akin Famewo who picked up his fifth yellow and a bit stupidly for what looked like time-wasting.
I’d have thought that the chances of Jackson being appointed the full-time manager are high. Whether that’s on a two/three year deal or just until the end of the season who knows. He’s had some tough matches to navigate and 10 points from 12 is more than we could have hoped for and more than we would have garnered had Nigel Adkins still been in charge. Just as importantly he’s got the squad galvanised and playing as a team.