Written by William Perrott
The Charlton faithful flooded into the valley ahead of the first home game of the 16/17 campaign, but many of those fans just like me didn’t have that first game fever. At this stage of the season you expect to see many happy Addicks heading to the game to support their team but this year it was very different, most likely because they were all signing a contract to not slate the Charlton board on social media. It was set to be a cagey affair especially for new signing Ricky Holmes who was coming up against his ex club for the first time.
Russell Slade started with a very similar team to last week with only 1 change. That that being Josh Magennis who only signed on Thursday from Kilmarnock. The cobblers had a very average side on paper but we all know footballer isn’t played on paper, and after a boring opening 15 minutes, Town took the lead after Alfie Potter floated the ball to the back post where the experienced Alex Revell was waiting, he then flicked the ball in to the corner of Declan Rudd’s net much to the pleasure of the travelling fans in the Jimmy seed stand.
“We want Roland out” was belted out from the Valley crowd in frustration, Charlton continued to pass the ball round the back which didn’t help as we had crofts and Foley in the heart of the midfield who only seem to know how to pass sidewards.
The whistle went for half time and Boo’s rang out from the covered end, a change was needed in the midfield for the Reds. We needed a midfielder who could run at players, someone like Northampton’s Alfie Potter to come on. Slade didn’t have one of those on his side so he made no changes at all which was a shock to almost every spectator at the Valley.
Slade’s men came out fighting and had a very good chance to equalise almost immediately, but Ajose couldn’t manage to steer his chance into the corner.
Valley Floyd Road was belted out from the terraces which boosted the players as they continued to attack the newly promoted Northampton, Charlton couldn’t find a way through and chances continued to be missed. That was until the ex Northampton hero Ricky Holmes picked up the ball and played a fantastic ball into Ajose who fed it though to the Charlton captain, Jackson who laced the ball into the net!
Charlton pushed on from there and continued to attack Northampton but couldn’t find a way through there defence who sat back and defended very well. Ademola Lookman came on for Ricky Holmes who received a very well deserved standing ovation from the both sets of fans. His replacement Lookman looked very promising yet again as he continued to run at the cobblers. After many attempts he won a free kick on the edge of the box and after a brief discussion with Ajose about who would take the resulting set piece Lookman stepped up and looped the ball towards the top corner but Adam Smith was there to tip the effort over the bar.
It looked as if Charlton had damaged the Cobblers sole with there equaliser but they heeled very quickly and had chances of there own, and the result could of went either way, Jordan Botaka who also joined on Thursday was introduced to the Valley but he didn’t manage to impress and had a few very poor touches, you could say he was almost as bad as my shoe puns.
The clock ticked on and chances continued to be wasted. The game was there for the taking but none of the sides had that bit of quality to go and steal the three points and as Darren England blew his whistle at full time cheers there was cheers of relief from the valley after a nerve racking close to the tie.
The result wasn’t what both sides were looking for of course but there was positives to take from the game such as a fantastic display from debute Josh Magennis who ran his socks off for the Reds as well as that Solly and Holmes yet again bossed the right side of the pitch and also another positive we can take from the game was that there was another inspiring goal from the heartbeat of Charlton, Johnnie Jackson. The result was nailed on from the start and a draw was a fair outcome but the addicks will be looking for a lot more than a point against Shrewsbury Town in SE7 on Tuesday night.
Charlton fans, what did you make of the performance? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Ewan Munro