Saturday 3 October 2020

Charlton Athletic 0 v Sunderland AFC 0

The first point of the Sangaard era from another game in which we struggled to compete for long periods. 

I said before the game that Sunderland don't tend to score too many but don't concede much either. When you add to that our struggle to score goals which was obviously not helped by selling Macauley Bonne yesterday then there can be few surprises at the scoreline.

It was pretty obvious after about twenty minutes that Charlton were far from a compact unit at the back. Bowyer shuffled things with Purrington and Famewo swapping positions but it didn't really help and Sunderland should have taken the lead. Amos had already blocked an effort from Graham at close range before making the save of the game after half-an-hour when he clawed out a header from Flanagan or Wright that he had no right to. 

After Pratley dived in again inside the box, Sunderland escaped with the ball and the  cross saw a scramble in the box in which Watson blocked the first effort from O'Brien before Graham also had two efforts blocked as Charlton players threw themselves at the ball.

Charlton were on the ropes and six minutes later Graham should have opened the scoring. Scowen found a bit of space on the right and his back post cross reached the unmarked Graham who only had to direct it on target but somehow he missed the back post. 

The shot count at half-time was 11-1 to Sunderland. That's a bit flattering in terms of genuine chances for the Makems but it's hard to dress Charlton's goal threat as anything more than powder-puff. 

Williams came on for the wasteful Oztumer at half-time. Oztumer must surely now be at the end of his Charlton career. He has never been able to command a place. He rarely manages to beat the first man from a set-piece and he is even more light-weight than his diminutive stature would suggest. When you add to that his preference for a dive rather than to create a chance, there's not much of a case left for him. It's a shame because he has always looked better playing against us than in a red shirt.

Alfie Doughty fired two long range efforts over the bar as if responding directly to Bowyer's half-time team talk and Lynden Gooch managed a similar effort for the visitors. Ben Watson earned his weekly booking and Dylan Levitt followed. 

On 64 minutes, Phil Parkinson changed his front two. Wyke and Grigg came on for O'Brien and Graham. I don't think it helped Sunderland. Neither made a meaningful contribution after coming on but that wasn't helped by Flanagan being sent off on 72 minutes for tripping Washington as he chased a flick-on from Aneke. 

Suddenly, the pressure eased on Charlton but any idea of a winner still looked fanciful. Levitt wasted two free-kicks and Aneke's clumsy touch ended a couple of other attacks.

Wyke wasted a near post chance after Hume had played his way to the line and cut the ball back before Marcus Maddison made his debut on 83 minutes. Rusty he may be but the urgency and precision of his few balls into the box gave a glimpse of what we can expect from him. 

In the fifth minute of added time, Marcus Maddison appeared deep in his own box to back-head out a dangerous ball in that was Sunderland's last chance. Maybe there is more to his game than I had realised.

Phil Parkinson's side remain unbeaten and may be pleased with an away point, but I I feel they dropped two by not really going for it in the opening half. They were content to look to pass their way to goal. With more direct running and urgency, I think they could have killed the game off - like Doncaster did a fortnight ago.

Lee Bowyer will be pleased to have taken a point in the circumstances. The cavalry are coming over the horizon and I fully expect a goal-scorer to arrive this week as well as a right-back and another central defender. It will take us a couple of months to settle down but the important thing is to keep nicking what points we can in the meantime - we did that today.

1 comment:

  1. DDTG,
    You may be right about Oztumer's longevity at CAFC.
    But your assessment of his skills is way off. He passes (forward- thats a novelty)- but there has to be movement by the attacking players or any players around him. We have been woeful at this last season and all of the games(3) I've seen this year. Yep maybe he doesn't "fit" our team or this league, and I agree that yesterday wasn't near his best. Plenty of "hoofers and lumpers" in the team- so he offers something different.
    We played like a bottom half/relegation team yesterday, hopefully theres time to improve the squad and the playing.At least theres a team to follow.


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