Carlisle United 1 Charlton 1
The Addicks picked up a second consecutive league point on the road on Saturday afternoon as they played out a 1-1 draw at Carlisle United.
It was a first half in which Charlton were generally in control, but perhaps demonstrated 300 miles of travelling in the legs in front of goal. In the 12th minute, an excellent block from Corey Whelan denied Alfie May after he had been laid off by Lloyd Jones following a marauding run from the centre-back.
The best chance of the half came in the 36th minute, when Corey Blackett-Taylor stood up Ben Barclay before stabbing the ball inside to Miles Leaburn. The striker’s first-time shot 12 yards out looked goalbound but was blocked, again by Whelan.
The effort helped spring the game into life and two minutes later the Addicks went within inches of finding the breakthrough. Blackett-Taylor received the ball on the turn from Jones and spun brilliantly away from Barclay before unleashing a scorching shot. 6ft 9in goalkeeper Tomáš Holy could get nowhere near the strike, but was relieved to see it cannon back off the angle of near post and bar.
With three minutes of the half remaining, the Blues had their best opportunity of the first period when Jordan Gibson pinched Michael Hector’s pocket and got to the byline. The winger checked back onto his stronger right foot but saw his shot saved by the legs of Ashley Maynard-Brewer.
Charlton came out for the second half with renewed purpose, and nine minutes in broke the deadlock with by far the best move of the game. Conor McGrandles, continuing his good run in the side, turned well in midfield and laid off to May. Tennai Watson had been flying down the wing all game, and this time May found him on the overlap. An excellent touch away from Jack Armer was enough to take Watson to the byline, and his pull-back was turned in at the back post by Blackett-Taylor for his seventh goal of the season.
But the home side responded well and put together their best spell of the match, culminating in a 62nd-minute equaliser from a familiar face. It was almost a carbon copy of the opener, with Gibson finding Armer on the overlap, who pulled back for Sam Lavelle. The former Addick took a touch before dispatching beyond Maynard-Brewer and Tayo Edun on the line.
Suddenly the game had opened up, and Charlton nearly retook the lead immediately. A good run from Edun found Scott Fraser, who laid off Leaburn. The striker took it onto his right and shot at the near post, but Holy was equal to both that effort and Blackett-Taylor’s on the rebound.
The Addicks were back in the ascendancy, and went close from a corner in the 79th minute when May’s corner was flicked goalward by Hector. Holy, despite his towering stature, got down well to save.
Leaburn had a half-chance from a deflected Blackett-Taylor pull back two minutes later, but Charlton were not able to find the winner which would have made the travelling supporters’ journey home feel a lot shorter.
Michael Appleton’s side will now look ahead to Tuesday’s game against Cheltenham at The Valley.
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; T.Watson, Hector, Jones, Edun; Dobson (c), McGrandles (L.Watson 87), Fraser (T.Campbell 77); May, Blackett-Taylor, Leaburn
Subs (not used): Walker, Asiimwe, Ness, Thomas, Tedić
Goal: Blackett-Taylor 54
Assist: T.Watson 54
Carlisle United: Holy; Barclay, Whelan, Lavelle (c), Armer; Moxon, McGeouch (Edmondson 70), Mellish; Emmanuel (Butterworth 71), Gibson, Plange (Maguire 70)
Subs (not used): Breeze, Robinson, Fitzpatrick, O’Brien
Goal: Lavelle 62
Assist: Armer 62
Attendance: 10,477 (964 from Charlton)
Referee: Leigh Doughty