Charlton Athletic 2 Fleetwood Town 0
Those beers after a Saturday home win always taste good. 🍺 🤕
It was much needed, and although the first half was largely forgettable and we were second-best for a big chunk of it, we did end it on the front foot and the 2nd half saw us deservedly take our first three points since December 11th.
In that first half hour the visitors were quicker, brighter and more inventive on the ball. They made short work of our 3-5-2 formation and they exposed us horribly down the channels. Yet they didn’t really create anything of note other than a couple of free-kicks fired over the bar.
Our passing was sloppy and Fleetwood appeared happy for us to play it around the back to eventually kick it long or give away possession, which we did often.
Elliott Lee, who had another poor game, had the best first half chance when Aneke set him up and at the second attempt had a good shot saved.
We started the next period much more alive kicking towards a busy Covered End. 8 minutes in Blackett-Taylor was fouled out on the left wing. Morgan sent a deep cross into the box and Inniss rose to head back across goal and young Burstow was the most alert to head it in.
We were much better now playing higher up the pitch with Dobson chasing every lost cause. Aneke was causing problems and by now Gilbey was on for Lee, and he was playing a much more more active part.
Fleetwood did have a purple patch and forced a few of corners and had one cross flash across the goal. Inniss was a colossus in those moments.
Then as the clock ticked down Morgan danced into the box and fired agonizingly wide. Then just as the Charlton TV cameras dwelled on pictures of Morgan with his head in his hands, Gilbey burst down the right sent in a cross that spun out to Morgan who then fired hard and low into the net. Game over.
The spine was key for me yesterday. It was a performance still wide of the mark that Jacko had set, but having MacGillivray back was comforting, Inniss a few misplaced passes aside, was excellent, Morgan looks fitter and quicker, Dobson was terrific again, and in Aneke we had strength and power up top to lead the line.
Great to see two academy players on the scoresheet yesterday as well.
Jacko: “They started really brightly. I thought they were the better side in those early periods and it took us a while to get to grips with that. I thought we grew into it first-half, ended the half quite strongly and then I thought in the second-half we came out and put our stamp on the game.”
Stephen Crainey: “The lads gave me everything and, on another day, we would get something out of the game, but it just wasn’t meant to be today. When you’re coming to stadiums like Charlton, with big crowds, when you’re on top you need to take your chances when you get them, and that was something we didn’t do today.”
Photo credit: Kyle Andrews