Written by William Perrott
Charlton V AFC Wimbledon.
Russell Slade and his side stepped up against a very well respected AFC Wimbledon side full of confidence after going six games unbeaten. Slade lined up with the same team that started last time out against Fleetwood.
It couldn’t have started better for the Addicks as Ademola Lookman controlled Ulvestad’s through ball and skipped past three Wimbledon players with ease, to finish off a very good move for the home side.
Charlton continued to attack and it looked as if Nicky Ajose was set to double the home sides lead after he raced passed the Dons defence, but unfortunately for the home fans he couldn’t manage to find the corner of the net.
Almost every Charlton fan inside the Valley was sure that those chances would come back to haunt Slade and the reds. That’s exactly what happened after Charlton continued to miss chance after chance this one coming from Ricky Holmes after he steered his shot straight into James Shea’s hands.
Dominic Poleon then picked up the ball on the left side of the pitch before smartly skipping past Addicks skipper Solly and goal scorer Lookman, Poleon then placed the ball through Declan Rudd’s legs to equalise much to the shock of the home fans.
The game was flat from there, as was the home crowd. If any side looked like scoring it was Wimbledon and that’s exactly what they did after the Dons Captain Fuller whipped the ball onto Tyrone Barnett’s head who looped the ball over Rudd.
The Valley was stunned as the Reds had dominated the whole game, that was right until the last 12 minutes of course. As the final whistle went fans flooded out of the valley in shock many home fans still wondering how there side didn’t manage to take a point from such a controlled game.
All in all it was a performance to forget so instead I look at every player and their individual performances, to see who truly deserves to keep there place for Tuesday’s encounter against top of the league Scunthorpe United.
Declan Rudd: 6
Rudd didn’t have much to do and didn’t even make a save up until the 70th minute, both of Wimbledon’s goals were perfectly placed and Rudd couldn’t do much more than he already had done he deserves to keep his place in the squad.
Chris Solly: 6
Solly had a very average game. He continued to bomb up and down the wing and did put in some very good tackles, although he was beaten very easily by Poleon for the Dons first goal.
Ezri Konsa: 6
Academy graduate Konsa had a very good 70 minutes but that is why I have only given him a 6, he was solid but switched off with 10 minutes to go. It’s a lesson to be learnt for the young man who was not in site for Barnett’s winning goal, I think that Patrick Bauer should replace him on Tuesday as we need that big man at the back to clear any danger, unfortunately Konsa does not fit that criteria.
Jason Pearce: 6
Much like Konsa, Pearce also had a very good 70 minutes. He dealt with everything that came his way but struggled in the closing stages as Neal Ardley’s men piled on the pressure, he should keep his place and slot in next to Bauer.
Morgan Fox: 7
Fox had another strong game and caused a real issue for Wimbledon on the left side of the pitch, he put in a few good crosses and made some crucial tackles in Charlton’s half, he looks very confident on the ball now and is a completely different player to what he was last campaign.
Ricky Holmes: 6
Ricky Holmes had a very frustrating afternoon. He got the ball down and ran at the opposition, but it just wouldn’t click for him and he had a few chances but couldn’t tuck them away. An average game for the fan favourite but I’m sure he will be looking to put it right in the next fixture.
Andrew Crofts: 6
Crofts won the ball in midfield and partnered very well with Ulvestad in the first half but lost his legs towards the end of the second half and looked as if he couldn’t keep up with play, Slade will most likely stick with Crofts in the heart of midfield but may look at subbing him off around the 60th minute in the next couple of games to ensure he is fresh and doesn’t pick up any knocks.
Fred Ulvestad: 7
Eyebrows were raised over Ulvestad’s performance against Fleetwood Town last week, after he gifted a goal to the Cod Army. Fred showed his quality and almost acted as a mop in the first half cleaning up just in front of the Charlton back four. He played a quality ball into Lookman for the opening goal and continued to run through the middle of the park.
Ademola Lookman: 9
Ade was a class above everyone on that pitch, it wasn’t just his quick footwork and smart finish that proved that, he continued to run at the Dons and showed some quality bits of skill to get himself out of tight situations, he deserved his goal and I’m sure with a bit more service and support Ade will continue to perform like that.
Nicky Ajose: 5
Almost every Addick expected Ajose to smash goals in left right and centre but he hasn’t managed to do so as of yet, to be fair to Ajose he hasn’t received much service and that’s what all good strikers need. Slade looks to be playing a system that doesn’t suit Ajose and if we wants to get the most out of the talented striker then we need to get the ball to his feet in and around the box. I think it’s time to give Novak a chance and bring Ajose off the bench to hopefully punish the opposition as he hasn’t been convincing in the last few weeks.
Josh Magennis: 7
Magennis didn’t have much service like Ajose but did manage to challenge every single ball in the air, he created a fair few opportunities and put in a good shift yet again. Josh has given everything in a Charlton shirt and let’s hope he continues to do so.
Lee Novak: 5
Novak replaced Ajose with 20 to go, he didn’t get on the ball much but did get back and help defend a few corners, he needs to be given more of a chance and I think he should receive that chance on Tuesday night in Scunthorpe.
Charlton fans, do you agree with the ratings? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Paul Hudson