Charlton Athletic 0-0 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 17th Apr 2021 13:33
Town’s lunchtime kick-off at Charlton remains 0-0 at half-time.
Kane Vincent-Young, Mark McGuinness, Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop and Keanan Bennetts returned to the Town line-up with club captain Luke Chambers, Toto Nsiala, Aaron Drinan, Alan Judge, who has played his last game for the club for contractual reasons, and the suspended Josh Harrop dropping out of the XI.
Vincent-Young was at right-back of a back four as the Blues switched back to 4-2-3-1. McGuinness joined Luke Woolfenden at the heart of the defence in a first-time partnership under new manager Paul Cook with Stephen Ward skippering at left-back. Tomas Holy continues in goal.
In midfield Dozzell joined Flynn Downes in the centre with Bennetts and Gwion Edwards the widemen, on the right and left respectively, and Teddy Bishop behind lone out-and-out striker James Norwood.
Chambers was among the subs for the third time this season and only the sixth time in the league since joining Town in the summer of 2012. Nsiala and Drinan missed out on places in the 18.
Charlton manager Nigel Adkins, in charge of his new club at the Valley for the first time, made one change from the team which won 2-1 Sunderland last weekend with Liam Millar replacing the injured Ian Maatsen in a 4-3-3 system.
The game started slightly chaotically with a number of Charlton players starting to take a knee as the Blues kicked off. Midfielder Darren Pratley briefly protested to referee Craig Hicks but the game continued.
Town twice went close to going in front in the third minute. First, Norwood flicked a header from Dozzell’s free-kick on the left goalwards and Ben Amos palmed away to his right. Then the loose ball fell to Bennetts at an angle and the winger smashed a powerful goal-bound shot which home skipper Jason Pearce diverted into the air and over from just in front of the line.
The Blues had started brightly and determinedly, the players perhaps bristling from manager Cook’s pre-match press conference comments, but in the eighth minute Ryan Inniss stooped to head powerfully straight at Holy from a corner on the left.
However, Town continued to dominate possession, keeping the ball confidently higher up the field than was usually the case under former manager Paul Lambert, but without managing to create another chance.
On the quarter-hour, a rare Addicks break saw Alex Gilbey pace past Woolfenden on the Charlton left but the central defender got back to block his cross and the ball bounced back to Holy.
The home side subsequently had a spell in charge but the Blues quickly got back on top. There was a blow for Town in the 25th minute when Norwood was forced off with another recurrence of the hamstring problems which have hampered him for some months.
With the game increasingly open as the half -hour mark was reached, there was a scare for the Blues when Holy failed to hold onto a deep cross from the left. Jayden Stockley seized on the loose ball with the keeper grounded but shot weakly towards goal and McGuinness cleared off the line.
On 33 Pratley hit a shot from distance which hit Stockley, then McGuinness before bouncing through to Holy. The Addicks were seeing more of the ball but without looking particularly dangerous.
Four minutes later, the Blues broke away through Bishop, the midfielder finding Jackson to his left. The sub cut back to Bennetts, who blazed over first time as he burst into the box.
Dozzell was shown the game’s first yellow card in the 43rd minute - his ninth in the league - for a cynical trip on Liam Millar as Charlton broke forward. Soon after, Diallang Jaiyesimi joined him in the book for a foul on Edwards.
That was the last action of a half in which the Blues had been the better side, albeit without creating too many chances.
They had started strongly, going close twice in the third minute, and dominated the ball for the first 20 minutes or so. Charlton came into it more after that but only really threatened following Holy’s error, while Jackson’s pace had been a danger for the Blues following his introduction, particularly when sent away by the lively Bishop, with Bennetts’s effort over the best opportunity in that spell.
Charlton: Amos, Purrington, Pearce (c), Jaiyesimi, Forster-Caskey, Stockley, Gilbey, Pratley, Matthews, Inniss, Millar. Subs: Maynard-Brewer, Gunter, Oshilaja, Famewo, Shinnie, Watson, Schwartz.
Town: Holy, Vincent-Young, Woolfenden, McGuinness, Ward (c), Downes, Dozzell, Bennetts, Bishop, Edwards, Norwood (Jackson 25). Subs: Cornell, Chambers, Kenlock, Skuse, Dobra, Sears. Referee: Craig Hicks (Surrey).
Photo: Action Images
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