Millwall 2 Charlton 2
The Addicks claimed a hard-fought 2-2 draw at The Den on Tuesday night in a game that seemed a world away from pre-season.
Millwall manager Gary Rowett had said before the fixture that he expected it to be “very close to a Championship game,” and he was not wrong.
It took just five minutes for Charlton to open the scoring. Corey Blackett-Taylor broke down the left and turned inside then out before planting a teasing cross onto the six-yard line. Academy graduate Karoy Anderson, again hugely impressive, was on hand to claim his third goal in six pre-season games, heading past a helpless George Long in the Millwall goal.
The Addicks dominated for the majority of the first half and doubled their lead 20 minutes later with a wonderful team goal. Halfway inside his own half, Terell Thomas hit a 50-yard ball across to Nathan Asiimwe, who controlled and played inside to Scott Fraser.
Fraser, 40 yards out, burst towards goal, played a one-two with Alfie May on the edge of the box, and was suddenly in behind the Lions’ defence. From a tight angle, the Scot opted not to shoot, instead playing square to Charlie Kirk, who couldn’t miss from six yards out. It was a fantastic move and 2-0 was no more than the away side deserved.
The home side were much improved in the second half, and should have pulled one back six minutes in. Nisbet cleverly flicked on a pull-back from Andreas Voglsammer and left Zian Flemming six yards out, but the Dutchman snatched at the chance and hit it wide.
The Lions would eventually get on the scoresheet in the 69th minute. After a Charlton attack broke down, substitute Billy Mitchell got on the ball and played a defence-splitting pass through to Nisbet. 15 yards out on the right of the box and faced by Lucas Ness, the striker opted to poke the ball towards the far corner. The shot was not hit with much power but was perfectly placed and went in off the post.
The Championship side quickly grew in confidence and it took good work from Isted to ensure the next ten minutes came without further reward for the hosts. Two minutes after Nisbet’s goal, Tom Bradshaw looked like he was in behind the Addicks’ defence but the keeper was quick off his line to clear. Millwall came again shortly after but this time Romain Esse was denied by the feet of Isted.
The home side finally found their equaliser with seven minutes to go, substitute Aidomo Emakhu beating Zach Mitchell for pace down the left and shooting from just inside the area. Isted got a hand to it but was unable to repeat his earlier heroics.
Emakhu nearly claimed a winner four minutes later when he hit a low shot from a similar position. A deflection took the ball under Isted, but as it rolled ominously towards the Charlton net, the Addicks keeper was able to race back and claim the ball right on his goal line.
The resulting draw means that the Addicks remain unbeaten in pre-season and now look forward to the final game on Saturday, when they will return to The Valley to welcome Aberdeen.
Charlton: Isted; Thomas, Ness, Elerewe (Mitchell 45); Asiimwe, Dobson (McGrandles 73), Fraser (Payne 73), Anderson (Camará 62), Blackett-Taylor (Campbell 62); Kirk (Egbo 85), May (Kanu 85)
Subs (not used): Molyneux, Henry
Goals: Anderson 6, Kirk 25
Assists: Blackett-Taylor 6, Fraser 25
Referee: K Stroud
Attendance: 7,143 (1,510 from Charlton)
(Report by Jamie Barton)