Port Vale 3 Charlton 3
The Addicks were on the end of another late goal on Saturday afternoon, Gavin Massey’s stoppage-time strike claiming a point for Port Vale in a 3-3 thriller at Vale Park.
As has been the case in most games recently, Charlton started well. In the seventh minute, Corey Blackett-Taylor played a one-two with Louie Watson, took the ball wide past Jesse Debrah and saw his cross put behind by goalkeeper Connor Ripley.
From the resulting corner, George Dobson’s delivery was flicked on at the near post by Michael Hector, and it took a smart stop from his goalkeeper to prevent an own goal.
Michael Appleton had put Dobson on set piece duties for this game, and his faith was repaid just 27 minutes in when the Addicks took the lead. After the skipper’s excellent corner from the left was cleared by Uche Ikpeazu, Tayo Edun’s header back towards the area found Louie Watson.
The Luton Town loanee, making his first league start since the visit to Portsmouth in November, flicked the ball in behind Ikpeazu, and Blackett-Taylor was on hand to slide the ball in between Ripley’s legs – the winger’s eighth league goal of the season.
Charlton looked set to go into the break with a valuable lead, but a late flurry from the Valiants was eventually enough to break through some brilliant goalkeeping from Ashley Maynard-Brewer. In the 43rd, the Australian pulled off two excellent saves – first to deny James Wilson from point-blank range after Ikpeazu’s knock down, and secondly to keep out a stinging drive from Alfie Devine.
But a minute later the home side would have the perfect chance to go level when the referee adjudged Karoy Anderson to have blocked Massey’s cross with an arm inside the area.
Ethan Chislett sent the resulting penalty straight down the middle to level the scoring on the stroke of half time. The South African has only scored in four League One matches this season, but half of those have been against the Addicks.
But Charlton weren’t to be deterred and started the second period quickly. After Blackett-Taylor and Tyreece Campbell went close, the away side re-established their lead just before the hour mark.
After Devine and Tom Sang made a meal of a Blackett-Taylor cross from the right, the ball broke to Edun inside the area. The left-back did brilliantly to feed Daniel Kanu, who tucked the ball home on the stretch. It clearly meant a lot to the striker, who raced away to celebrate in front of a rapturous away end. Their response was clear: “Daniel Kanu, he’s one of our own!”
But the home side responded well and just four minutes later found their second equaliser of the game. Massey held the ball up on the right of the box and laid it off to his captain, Nathan Smith. The defender took a touch before sending in a cross, and Ikpeazu got to it first, powering a header towards goal. Maynard-Brewer got a hand to the ball but couldn’t deny Ikpeazu his first goal since returning to English football from Turkey.
Suddenly the home side were in the ascendancy, and Charlton did brilliantly to hold them at bay. Devine went close with long-range drives on two occasions, first in the 65th minute when he was denied by a block from Michael Hector, and then a minute later by a flying save from Maynard-Brewer.
But the Addicks stayed in the game and got their reward. After Blackett-Taylor’s cross was headed back towards him by Conor Grant, substitute Terell Thomas hit a cross-shot into the box, and Campbell was on hand to dispatch the ball beyond Ripley. It was a goal from each of Appleton’s front three, and it looked to be enough to give Charlton the three points.
It was not to be, however, with the Valiants equalising for the third time in the 92nd minute. Out of nothing, Chislett dug out a ball to Massey on the edge of the box, and the winger took a touch before striking past an unsighted Maynard-Brewer at his near post.
There was still time for a winner, and the Addicks almost got it in the 96th minute when Nathan Asiimwe’s cross found Dobson unmarked in the area, but he could not properly connect with an attempted backheel and a penalty appeal for a handball following the touch was denied as the match ended level.
Next up for Charlton is a home game against high-flying Peterborough next Saturday.
Port Vale: Ripley; Debrah (Iacovitti 39), Lowe, Smith (c); Massey, Sang (Walters 85), Devine, Grant; Chislett, Wilson (Dipepa 76), Ikpeazu
Subs (not used): Leutwiler, Balmer, Loft, Shorrock
Goals: Chislett (p) 45, Ikpeazu 63, Massey 90+2
Assists: Massey 45, Smith 63, Chislett 90+2
Booked: Smith 90+4 (foul on T Campbell), Crosby 90+7 (dissent)
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; T Watson, Hector, Jones, Edun (Thomas 70); Dobson (c), L Watson, Anderson; T Campbell, Blackett-Taylor (Asiimwe 90), Kanu
Subs (not used): Walker, Ness, Fraser, Rylah, Casey
Goals: Blackett-Taylor 27, Kanu 59, T Campbell 83
Assists: L Watson 27, Edun 59, Thomas 83
Booked: Jones 32 (foul on Ikpeazu), Dobson 74 (foul on Chislett), L Watson 87 (foul on Dipepa), Thomas 90+6 (dissent)
Attendance: 5,993 (393 from Charlton)
Referee: Martin Coy