REPORT | Charlton 1 Walsall 1

Tom Rubashow reports from The Valley

Tony Watt made it two goals in as many games as Charlton came back from behind to draw 1-1 with Walsall.

After a sluggish start, Charlton had looked the more likely until Simeon Jackson gave the away side the lead just before the half-time whistle. After Watt’s goal, the Addicks took control but Neil Etheridge in the Walsall goal was able to keep the home side at bay.

Karl Robinson made three changes from the side that beat Scunthorpe United in midweek with Johnnie Jackson and Lee Novak moved to the bench after putting in hard shifts on Tuesday and Josh Magennis missing through injury. Declan Rudd started in goal behind a back for of Nathan Byrne, Jorge Teixeira, Ezri Konsa and Page. Crofts and Fredrik Ulvestad started in centre midfield with Ricky Holmes, Joe Aribo and Adam Chicksen ahead of them and Watt starting up front.

Walsall came out of the blocks with energy and within two minutes the busy Joe Edwards had cut inside Byrne but his cross was cleared by Teixeira. Charlton struck back immediately with Watt finding himself in space but his shot from 30 yards sailed over.

The away side should have taken the lead when Edwards got in behind Byrne and found Jackson just outside the six yard box but the former-Norwich City striker blazed over when it looked easier to score. Walsall were looking dangerous and minutes later Aribo had to clear off the line after a header from a Walsall corner.

At the other end it was Holmes causing the Walsall defenders the most problems, winning numerous corners but Charlton were unable to capitalise on the resulting corners. 

With half time beckoning and Charlton looking like they’d got a hold on the game Walsall took the lead. A ball was flicked on to  Saddlers forward Jackson who beat the offside trap, with the Addicks playing a high line. The former Norwich striker ran on to the ball and finished neatly with the outside of his boot.

Charlton had to reshuffle at the start of the second half with Konsa going off injured. He was replaced by Johnnie Jackson meaning Ulvestad had to drop back into centre half. 

Shortly following the substitution Page was replaced by Lee Novak with Chicksen moving to left back, Jackson moved to sit in a diamond formation with Aribo and Crofts ahead of him and Holmes behind the front two. 

It didn’t take long for the changes to pay off as Charlton scored a 61st-minute equaliser. A lovely ball from Jackson found Chicksen. His deep cross was cleared as far as Aribo who tried turning in the penalty box. Rather fortuitously, the ball fell to Watt who drove into the bottom left hand corner of the goal with the outside of his right boot. 

The Charlton tempo had intensified and the chances were starting to come. In the 75th minute a Holmes free kick found its way to Watt whose acrobatic effort was turned over. Etheridge was unable to claim the resulting Holmes corner and had to tip over Aribo’s deflected effort.

In the 83rd minute, former Addick Etheridge again had to tip over. Bryne found Holmes whose chipped cross gave the former Fulham man difficulties, before Charlton had a big penalty shout in the 86th minute when Aribo’s shot from Novak’s lay-off appeared to strike a defender’s arm in the box.

Karlan Ahearne-Grant replaced Watt with just a couple of minutes to go with the Scotsman getting a standing ovation from supporters.

With just minutes left in stoppage time McCarthy drove wide from the edge of the area,

Charlton chased a winner but a Holmes cross behind for a goal kick was to be the last kick of the game as Robinson's men secured their fourth point of the week. 

Charlton: Rudd, Byrne, Teixeira, Konsa (Jackson 50), Page (Novak 56), Crofts, Ulvestad, Holmes, Aribo, Chicksen, Watt (Ahearne-Grant 89)

Subs (not used): Phillips, Hanlan, Dijksteel, Dasilva

Booked: Byrne 76 (foul on Oztumer), Jackson (foul on Oztumer 84)

Goal: Watt 61

Walsall: Etheridge, O’Connell, O’Connor, Laird, McCarthy, Chambers, Morris (Dobson 68), Osbourne, Edwards, Oztrumer, Jackson (Bakayoko 63)  

Subs (not used): Macgillivray, Preston, Randall, Makris, Moussa

Booked: Osbourne 69 (foul on Holmes) 

Goal: Jackson 44

Referee: N Kinseley

Att: 9,900 (316 from Walsall)

Read Time: 4 mins