A frustrating afternoon saw Charlton drop two points on a wet and windy afternoon against Plymouth Argyle at The Valley on Boxing Day.
It was a sloppy start for the Addicks as the visitors were ahead within five minutes. A ball down the left-hand side found Ryan Hardie. Argyle’s number nine had beaten the offside trap to break free before pulling the ball back to Luke Jephcott who slotted home from six yards.
Arglye threatened on the counterattack once more, and it was yet again the combination of Hardie and Jephcott causing some trouble. This time, Jephcott released Hardie whose cutback didn’t find a white shirt, before being cleared for a corner.
As the game progressed, Charlton began to find their feet. Conor Washington produced the first shot on target for the Addicks on the 23rd minute as he turned onto his right foot from the left-hand side of the box, but his powerful shot was met by Michael Cooper in the Plymouth goal.
A few moments later, Ian Maatsen showed just why he is playing in a more central role as a driving run saw the Dutchman glide past several midfielders before producing a powerful shot on target.
The loanee was at the heart of another Charlton move, battling against Panutche Camara in midfield to win the ball back before releasing Adam Matthews on the left-hand side. Matthews’ cross was too high for the on running Jake Forster-Caskey but Charlton won the corner.
The resulting corner saw the Addicks level the scores. Forster-Caskey’s in-swinging cross was met by Chuks Aneke. The big man did enough to poke the ball to Chris Gunter, who powered his shot home past the helpless Cooper.
However, the hosts’ celebrations were only short lived. A couple of minutes after securing the equaliser, a Plymouth free-kick from the right-hand side met Kelland Watts in the box, who headed down to Jephcott to tap home.
On the brink of half-time, the Addicks struck the woodwork. A good advantage from the referee allowed Ben Watson to find his midfield partner Maatsen, who takes a touch onto his left foot from the edge of the Plymouth box and unleashes a rocket towards the goal, smashing back against the crossbar.
A lacklustre second half saw chances few and far between, resulting in Lee Bowyer shuffling the pack as he replaced Jonny Williams and Ben Watson with Marcus Maddison and Albie Morgan.
Fresh into action, Marcus Maddison set the second half alight. A pass from Matthews saw Maddison in a central position, 40 yards from goal and with it all to do. The midfielder beat his man with a cheeky nutmeg before unleashing a fierce left footed strike into the bottom right-hand corner of the visitor’s goal.
Maddison was at the heart of yet another move, latching onto a long ball before playing a fantastic cutback to Washington, who blazed over as he ran onto the shot.
As Charlton continued to dominate, it appeared that the visitors were happy to settle for a point. The Pilgrims soaked up pressure before playing the ball around the back in the dying embers of the game as the match concluded in a draw.
Charlton: Amos, Gunter, Pratley, Pearce, Matthews; Watson (Morgan 64), Forster-Caskey, Maatsen, Williams (Maddison 64); Aneke (Bogle 79), Washington (Smyth 88)
Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Oshilaja, Gilbey
Goals: Gunter 32, Maddison 67
Booked: Aneke 57 (foul)
Plymouth: Cooper, Aimson, Canavan, Watts, Edwards, Pereira Camara, MacLeod (Fornah 70), Mayor, Grant, Jephcott (Moore 88), Hardie (Nouble 79)
Subs (not used): McCormick, Wootton, Telford, Reeves
Goals: Jephcott 6, 36
Booked: Aimson 52 (handball), MacLeod 70 (foul), Edwards 70 (foul)
(Report by Nick Emms)