Battling Charlton secure point at Blackpool


Blackpool 1 Charlton 1

The Addicks came from behind on Saturday afternoon to claim a point at the side with the best home record in League One, as a lively encounter with Blackpool ended 1-1 in Curtis Fleming’s first game as Interim Head Coach.

The teams came into this game on the back of contrasting runs of form. While Charlton have lost their last three, the Tangerines began the day having claimed a hattrick of league wins. The sides’ differing fortunes was apparent in the first half, with the home side creating four wonderful chances to go ahead.

First, 15 minutes in, CJ Hamilton’s excellent driving run took him past Nathan Asiimwe and Macauley Gillesphey. His pull back from the byline took a touch off Jordan Rhodes and fell kindly for Hayden Coulson, who came inside before sending a right-foot effort towards the far corner. With Ashley Maynard-Brewer beaten, he will have been relieved to see Gillesphey get back to clear off the line.

The home side’s left-sided trio of Coulson, James Husband and Albie Morgan caused the Addicks all sorts of problems in the first half, and were instrumental five minutes later went Blackpool went close again.

Coulson’s ball inside for Morgan was flicked around the corner by the former Addick for Husband, who sent a looping cross into the six-yard box. Rhodes, Gillesphey and Tennai Watson all went for the ball, which somehow dropped into Maynard-Brewer’s arms on the goal-line.

The best chance of the first half, and perhaps Blackpool’s season, came in the 39th minute. Maynard-Brewer, receiving the ball in his six-yard box from Lucas Ness, attempted to go long but saw his clearance come back off Rhodes.

The experienced striker seemingly had the chance to tap the ball into the empty net, but scuffed his shot to the extent that the Australian goalkeeper was able to claim the ball and, along with the travelling support, breath a huge sigh of relief.

With five minutes of the half remaining, the home side went within inches of breaking the deadlock again. On the right, the exciting Karamoko Dembele played a ball in behind for Kyle Joseph, who beat Maynard-Brewer to the ball and sent in a cross.

With Rhodes lurking, Ness stretched to intervene in front of the open net and saw his clearance cannon back off the inside of his own post and away.

Charlton survived the first half but the hosts will have been wondering how they were not able to open the scoring. They would not have to wait long, however, to find the breakthrough in the second half.

The warning shot came five minutes into the second period when Joseph’s effort from 15 yards out struck the bar after good work from Dembele. Three minutes after that, the Tangerines were ahead.

Lloyd Jones, on as a half-time substitute, received the ball under pressure from Joseph and turned into trouble in the form of Morgan, who nicked the ball of his toe. Suddenly Dembele was away, and the man on loan from Ligue 1 side Brest made no mistake, driving into the box and sweeping into the right corner with his left foot.

It appeared as though the second period was following the same script as the first, with the hosts utterly dominant again. But when you have Alfie May up front, you’ve always got a chance, and never has that rung more true than in the 69th minute when the Addicks drew level.

A long ball from Tyreeq Bakinson found May in behind Oliver Casey, and the striker turned inside CJ Hamilton before striking at goal from just inside the box. The effort took a slight deflection off the Irish international followed by a major deflection off Marvin Ekpiteta, and squirmed in at the near post with Daniel Grimshaw wrong-footed.

Having not had the fortune of benefitting from an own goal all season, Charlton now have two in two games following Aaron McGowan’s mistake for Northampton last week.

It had been a nervy performance from the away side, but the goal clearly took a weight off, and the Addicks finished the game the stronger team.

The introduction of Daniel Kanu made an obvious difference, and the academy striker went very close in the 84th minute when Tennai Watson won the ball back and played the ball down the line on the right. Kanu burst into the box, but took just long enough with his shot that Ekpiteta was allowed to get back and make amends for his own goal with an excellent block.

The Addicks would go close one more time as the match ticked over into stoppage time, when Louie Watson’s corner flashed just past Ness at the far post.

It would finish all square, Charlton ending Blackpool’s run of four home league wins in a row. Fleming and his side will now look ahead to another game against playoff hopefuls, as they host Derby County on Saturday.

Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; Ness, Thomas, Gillesphey (Jones 46); Asiimwe (Kanu 62), Dobson (c), Edmonds-Green, Bakinson, T Watson; May, Ladapo (L Watson 78)

Subs (not used): Isted, Anderson, Fiorini, Campbell

Goal: Ekpiteta (og) 69

Assist: May 69

Booked: Edmonds-Green 13 (foul on Morgan), Dobson 60 (foul on Joseph), Maynard-Brewer 74 (time-wasting), Ness 80 (foul on Joseph), Thomas 88 (foul on Gabriel), May 90+4 (dissent)

Blackpool: Grimshaw; Casey, Ekpiteta, Husband; Hamilton, Dembele, Norburn (c) (Virtue 89), Morgan, Coulson (Gabriel 78); Joseph, Rhodes (Lavery 46)

Subs (not used): O’Donnell, Connolly, Pennington, Carey

Goal: Dembele 53

Assist: Morgan 53

Booked: Ekpiteta 89 (foul on Kanu)

Attendance: 10,059

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Read Time: 5 mins