The Addicks remain unbeaten under Michael Appleton as they played out a 0-0 draw with Shrewsbury Town at Croud Meadow this afternoon.
The hosts started the match the better side and should have been ahead in the 12th minute when Tom Bayliss’ free kick from the right found Morgan Feeney unmarked ten yards out.
The defender’s header was saved well by Harry Isted but the ball rebounded back to Feeney, who sliced over the bar with the goal at his mercy. The Shrews had not scored in nearly nine hours of football and it was difficult to see when they would get a better chance to change their fortunes.
It was a grey, rainy day in Shropshire and at times the football in the first half mirrored the weather. It was not until the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time that the game exploded into life.
With his back to goal, Carl Winchester laid the ball back to Tom Flanagan, who took a touch before unleashing an excellent curling shot towards the top right corner. It took an equally excellent save from Isted to keep the score level.
From the resulting corner, Isted pulled off an even better save. From the edge of the box, Brandon Fleming dinked the ball towards the far post where Max Mata was waiting, but the New Zealand international’s diving header was kept out by the Addicks’ number-21. It had not been a great half for Charlton and they had their goalkeeper to thank for going into the break at 0-0.
It took only four minutes of the second period for the away side to go closer than they for the entirety of the first. Tyreece Campbell received the ball short from a corner and crossed into the box with his left foot. Lloyd Jones, who was excellent all afternoon, got above Mata and powered a header at goal, but Marko Marosi denied him with an acrobatic save.
The Addicks were growing into the game and received a further boost with the introduction of Chuks Aneke and Bodan Tedić just after the hour mark, the former going close twice within ten minutes of his introduction.
First, full debutant Tennai Watson pulled the ball back to Aneke in the area, whose left-foot shot was kept out and then scrambled away by Marosi with May lurking. Five minutes later, the substitutes linked up, Tedić laying it back to Aneke whose curling left-foot shot went just over the bar.
Charlton were looking the more likely to break the deadlock, but were almost caught out from their own corner when the Shrews broke and Winchester attempted to lob Isted from his own half. It was an excellent effort and looked destined for the net, but a retreating Isted was just able to get enough on the ball, which bounced mercifully up and over his bar.
Aneke had made a real difference since he was brought on and with ten minutes remaining he troubled Marosi again. George Dobson crossed from deep on the right and the striker got power behind his header, but was only able to direct the effort straight at the Shrewsbury goalkeeper.
Then, in the eighth minute of stoppage time, Shrews substitute Kieran Phillips had probably the best chance of the game. Sent through on goal by a curling ball from Winchester, the striker seemed certain to score, but he was denied by another top save from Isted, who made himself big and kept it out.
It was a terrific performance from the goalkeeper, who will be delighted with his clean sheet. The Addicks now look ahead to Tuesday night when they will host Exeter City at The Valley.
Shrewsbury Town: Marosi; Feeney, Dunkley (c), Flanagan; Winchester, Perry, Kenneh, Bayliss, Fleming; Udoh (Phillips 78), Mata
Subs (not used): Benning, Anderson, Bowman, Burgoyne, Sobowale, Bennett
Booked: Dunkley 86 (foul on Aneke)
Charlton: Isted; T Watson (Asiimwe 81), Hector, Jones, Thomas; Taylor (L Watson 44), Dobson (c), T Campbell (Aneke 62); Blackett-Taylor (Fraser 81), May, Leaburn (Tedić 62)
Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Ness
Booked: Thomas 51 (foul on Udoh), Isted 83 (foul on Phillips), Tedić 86 (asking for yellow card), L Watson 90+7 (kicking the ball away)
Attendance: 5,619 (556 from Charlton)
Referee: Ed Duckworth