Reality bites for the Addicks – South London News
Charlton suffered their defeat second of the season as they were undone 3-1 at Bolton Wanderers. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the clash at the University of Bolton Stadium.
A LONG AFTERNOON
A pretty uncomfortable 90 minutes in the north west. Things seemed to be going the Addicks’ way when superb work by loanee Jes Rak-Sakyi presented Scott Fraser with the opening goal inside four minutes. But that joy was short-lived with the hosts soon level thanks to the hand of Conor ‘Maradona’ Bradley. The Trotters dominated the rest of the first period, not allowing Charlton a moment’s rest on the ball and carrying a permanent threat.
They made that supremacy pay just before the interval with Kieran Lee edging Ian Evatt’s side into the lead. Charlton did recover after the break and could easily have forged an equalizer from one of Rak-Sakyi’s three good openings. But Bolton were always a lingering threat and finished the contest off fifteen minutes from time.
Charlton remain winless on the road. They’ve only got two wins to their name so far after seven games. There’s been some good moments this season, but the results need to follow – and certainly not too many similar displays as the one served up yesterday.
Jes Rak-Sayki looped the ball beyond George Johnston before squaring for Scott Fraser to open the scoring. Kyle Andrews
NO DEFENDING THAT
Ben Garner was not pleased with the manner of the three goals the Addicks conceded. They looked vulnerable down each flank, particularly in the first-half. And they didn’t deal with the crosses that came into their area. Sam Lavelle and Joe Wollacott seemed to put each other off for Bolton’s leveller.
Lee was the beneficiary of the Addicks’ generously loose marking for the second—although there were also another three potential benefactors who could have snuffled that chance fairly comfortably.
The Addicks were caught napping for the third goal. Indeed, napping may be too kind. It was like they’d organized a full-blown sleepover in their own penalty area as the hosts had ages to line up their set-piece and execute it. Not a good day defensively for the South Londoners.
Lee was afforded too much time and space for Bolton’s second. Kyle Andrews
CONSISTENCY OF PERFORMANCE
That’s the third league outing in a row where the Addicks have been below par. The home draw with Cambridge a fortnight ago was flat. They were off it during the first-half at Wycombe and then didn’t create a great deal when they recovered somewhat after the interval. And yesterday’s overall display was poor – apart from the 15-minute spell following the restart where Rak-Sakyi caused the Trotters some serious problems.
Injuries have taken their toll, but individual performance levels have dropped. The 5-1 win over ten-man Plymouth four games ago set expectations unrealistically high. Once again Rak-Sakyi was Charlton’s only real threat. The Addicks’ had him to thank him for causing Bolton problems at the start of the second-period but not enough of his teammates could accomplish the same thing.
They struggled to get Jayden Stockley into the game – the forward looked isolated. Charlie Kirk is looking more like the quiet player Charlton fans saw last year. Some cracks have appeared over the last weeks and they could not be papered over at the UniBol.
Garner gave an honest assessment of his squad’s depth after the game at Bolton. Kyle Andrews
SHORTNESS OF SQUAD – WHAT IS REALISTIC THIS SEASON?
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of realism and Garner’s refreshing post-match quotes regarding the state of the squad at this moment in time were laced with hard truths.
When I asked him if a top six finish would be an overachievement, he said: “Yes, I think it will. We’ve had one window. We haven’t spent any money, we’ve made a profit in transfer fees. We’re not going to jump from 13th to winning the league. I have to be realistic. We want to put foundations in place.”
Charlton are starting from a low base and it’s clear there wasn’t enough business done in this transfer window for a sustained top six push to be realistic. Quite how that will be achieved over the next couple of windows if cost-cutting remains the aim is to be seen. Expectation levels set by comments out of the club over the last two years haven’t been matched by actions.
It’s widely accepted that Garner has started well in terms of introducing a playing style to the club but without proper backing it’s unclear how this will translate into success on its own. It’s futile to introduce a ‘project’ manager to the club unless he is given the building blocks to oversee his project to completion.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS