Barnsley 1 Charlton 1
The Addicks stretched their unbeaten league run to six games on Saturday afternoon, claiming a 1-1 draw with Barnsley at Oakwell.
The Tykes started the game seventh in the table, but four of their five losses this season have come at home. That was apparent in the early stages, with Barnsley looking nervy and Charlton enjoying a dominant start.
Seven minutes in, after relentless Addicks pressure, Corey Blackett-Taylor had an excellent chance to open the scoring after a mix-up from Jordan Williams and Maël de Gevigney allowed him to burst into the box. He might have squared it for Alfie May but elected to go for goal, hitting the side-netting and sparing the Barnsley defenders’ blushes.
Efforts from May and Chem Campbell from the edge of the box would follow, but the home side began to grow into the match and went very close in the 20th minute. Corey O’Keeffe laid the ball inside to Herbie Kane, and the former Liverpool midfielder took one touch before arrowing a shot towards Ashley Maynard-Brewer’s top left corner. It took a flying save from the Australian to keep the game goalless.
Four minutes later, though, Barnsley would find the breakthrough in controversial circumstances. Adam Phillips’ long ball looking for Kane on the left was overhit, and George Dobson attempted to shield the ball out of play.
The ball appeared to cross the line before Kane stretched out a leg, but the referee waved play on, and suddenly the Tykes were in. Kane played a simple ball across the box back to Phillips who hit an excellent first-time strike into the top corner.
The Addicks responded brilliantly to going behind, and may have had cause to feel even more hard done by in the 41st minute when Tayo Edun’s cross hit Williams’ hand in the area and the referee signalled no penalty. Following the award of a contentious spot-kick last weekend against Cambridge United, Charlton will feel that they have not been getting the rub of the green in recent games.
Michael Appleton’s side would not feel sorry for themselves though, and burst out of the traps again in the second half. In the 57th minute, Bodan Tedić went close when he received Dobson’s pass to feet, turned, and hit a shot from the edge of the box just wide.
On the hour mark, the Serbian would turn provider, laying off for Blackett-Taylor to drive into the box. The winger saw his first effort blocked by Jamie McCart but managed a second toe-poke at goal, which needed a smart stop from Liam Roberts on his return from injury.
But just as they did in the first period, Barnsley found a foothold 20 minutes into the half. In the 64th minute, substitute John McAtee had a wonderful chance to double his side’s lead when Devante Cole headed the ball down to him in the area, but Maynard-Brewer got out to McAtee quickly and saved the Luton loanee’s effort.
In the following four minutes, two excellent crosses from O’Keeffe provided another two excellent chances for the Tykes – the first fluffed by Kane, and the second just inches in front of McAtee at the back post.
It was starting to look like the game might get away from the Addicks, but with 20 minutes to go they found the equaliser that their play had merited. Edun’s ball in behind took a deflection of Williams which took it away from de Gevigney, and suddenly Blackett-Taylor was through on goal. The winger showed fantastic composure in deciding not to shoot straight away and continuing his run inside to make it an even better chance, one which he converted by lashing the ball home.
It was a lively end to the game and, despite Charlton perhaps having the better of the chances, Appleton’s side seemed grateful for the point following two chances for Owen Dodgson in stoppage time. Coming from a long throw and a corner respectively, both efforts were met with heroic blocks, in particular the latter from Dobson.
The Addicks’ next test will be at home to Burton Albion next Saturday.
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; T Watson, Hector, Thomas, Edun; Dobson (c), Fraser, C Campbell (Mbick 82), May, Blackett-Taylor (T Campbell 90+1), Tedić (Kanu 63)
Subs (not used): Walker, Elerewe, Asiimwe, L Watson
Goal: Blackett-Taylor 70
Assist: Edun 70
Booked: Maynard-Brewer 25 (dissent), Appleton 26 (dissent), Fraser 48 (foul on O’Keeffe), Thomas 60 (foul on Cole), Edun 86 (foul on O’Keeffe)
Barnsley: Roberts; Williams (c), De Gevigney, McCart; O’Keeffe, Dodgson, Connell, Kane (Watters 83), Phillips; Cole (Jaló 78), Cosgrove (McAtee 56)
Subs (not used): Killip, Russell, Łopata, Cotter
Goal: Phillips 24
Assist: Kane 24
Booked: McCart 39 (kicking ball away), Kane 51 (foul on T Watson), Cosgrove 52 (foul on Edun), Dodgson 86 (foul on Kanu)
Attendance: 11, 716 (644 from Charlton)
Referee: Simon Mather