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Charlton Athletic 0-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 17th Apr 2021 14:31

Town drew 0-0 with Charlton Athletic at the Valley to extend their goalless streak to 439 minutes. The Blues, who last found the net in the Good Friday victory over Bristol Rovers, were the better side in the first half with James Norwood and Keanan Bennetts both going close early on, while the Addicks were on top in the second as the sides played out Town’s fourth 0-0 draw in six matches.

Kane Vincent-Young, Mark McGuinness, Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop and 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 continued 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.

Six minutes after the restart, following a three-times-taken free-kick, Vincent-Young tricked his way past his man before cutting in and hitting a left-foot shot over.

On 54, Ward crossed low from the left but far too close to home keeper Amos, who claimed low at a stretch.

Charlton had shown little since the break but in the 57th minute they went close to going in front. Inniss headed a corner from the right back towards goal, Jaiyesimi flicked on and Holy reacted very quickly to block before McGuinness hooked away the loose ball.

Just prior to the hour mark, with the game again increasingly open, a Bennetts cross from the Town right was blocked after good work from Bishop, then at the other end Millar was teed-up on the edge of the Blues area by Stockley but Holy got down well to save. On 61 Bennetts was swapped for Armando Dobra, while Charlton switched Pratley for Ben Watson.

The Albanian U21 international was quickly into the action, taking the ball into the area before feeding Edwards to his left. The Welshman took a touch inside before scuffing his shot to Amos. It was a decent opportunity and Edwards will feel he ought to have made more of it.

On 66 Dozzell was fortunate not to be shown a second yellow card when he pulled back Jaiyesimi on the edge of the Addicks area as the home side looked to break following a Town corner. Two minutes later, Charlton sub Watson was booked for a late challenge on Edwards.

Town replaced Ward and Bishop, who had faded in the second half having probably been the pick of the Blues’ players in the first, for Myles Kenlock and Freddie Sears. Dozzell was handed the captain’s armband.

Kenlock’s first involvement was to reach a loose ball first after Holy had failed to hold on to Jake Forster-Caskey’s low shot from the edge of the area. The keeper really ought to have done better.

Forster-Caskey, the stepson of former Blues striker Nicky Forster, wasn’t far away at all with a curling first-time effort from just outside the box in the 73rd minute which only just looped over.

The Blues were finding themselves under some pressure for the first time in the match and on 75 Ben Purrington crossed low from the left for Stockley, but his shot was too close to Holy, who saved.

Charlton continued to look the more threatening side with centre-half Ryan Inniss nodding two left-sided corners back into the danger zone from beyond the far post with Edwards clearing the first and Holy just getting there ahead of an Addicks player from the second.

In injury time, there was a brief flashpoint between Woolfenden and Inniss which referee Hicks settled without use of his cards. Moments later, the Surrey-based official ended the afternoon.

Overall, a draw was probably a fair result with the Blues having been on top on the first half and the Addicks in the second with neither side creating too many opportunities throughout.

Despite another draw, Town were much better than they were at Wimbledon.

The result and the scorelines elsewhere see the Blues stay ninth but now four points off the top six with five left to play.

Charlton: Amos, Purrington, Pearce (c), Jaiyesimi, Forster-Caskey, Stockley, Gilbey, Pratley (Watson 61), Matthews, Inniss, Millar. Unused: Maynard-Brewer, Gunter, Oshilaja, Famewo, Shinnie, Schwartz.

Town: Holy, Vincent-Young, Woolfenden, McGuinness, Ward (c) (Kenlock 70), Downes, Dozzell, Bennetts (Dobra 61), Bishop (Sears 69), Edwards, Norwood (Jackson 25). Unused: Cornell, Chambers, Skuse. Referee: Craig Hicks (Surrey).

Photo: PagePix

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midastouch added 15:33 - Apr 17
Total garbage. We've got new owners from the land of Stars and Stripes but sadly we've got no stars in the team earning their stripes!

A few weeks ago I thought I could probably count the players worth keeping on one hand, now I'm starting to think I could count the players worth keeping on just one or two fingers. And the rest of them get a one-finger salute from me as far as I'm concerned! In short, they are an embarrassment to this club.

istanblue added 15:33 - Apr 17
Couldn't score in a brothel.

Essexnblue added 15:34 - Apr 17
As another poster stated, the problem is our academy.
We play at level 2 and produce level 2 players.
We talk about how good they are, but they don't succeed at Div 1 level let alone progress to anything greater.
The last Prem player that we produced from the academy was Wickham and we nicked him from Colchester.
Hate to say it but the reason why that mob up the road succeed is down to having a progressive academy.

dirtydingusmagee added 15:48 - Apr 17
totally disinterested in this bunch of overpaid wasters, hopefully they will ALL be history soon, may be a bit harsh on a couple but really the majority of the squad need to go ,we will never progress with them .PLEASE Cookie ,DONT go soft , the sooner we can see things are moving the better, a new manager and owners wont fill the terraces next season if the faces on the pitch are the same thats for sure..

jas0999 added 15:54 - Apr 17
Improved performance but not sufficient enough to suggest an overhaul is needed in the summer.

Lack of goal threat remains a concern, but overall an okay point.

LimerickTractorBoy added 15:55 - Apr 17
Desperate for PC to succeed but very disappointed that McG, Bennetts and Ward started today, am I wrong to be disappointed? ...serious question.

SpiritOfJohn added 15:56 - Apr 17
Another £10 saved. Roll on next season...

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 16:01 - Apr 17
I really don't think any of our guys could score in a brothel.

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 16:04 - Apr 17
@istanblue I see you beat me to it!

slimjim added 16:05 - Apr 17
Rep1 and blues1 I am trying to temper the sh1te/hype that’s posted on here regarding PC eg he’s an excellent manager etc. He may well be but so far no sign of it and I don’t see any improvement in terms of performance and results in the last 11 games I want the guy to succeed I just wish that people would wait and see results before posting how good the guy is. The time to judge properly will be by Christmas when hopefully it will be his team. And who knows we might scrap the playoffs yet as this is a poor league...

dirtydingusmagee added 16:07 - Apr 17
to those still bigging Norwood up, just look at his record at town , nothing but baggage,he may score a few goals but no good having a striker that can only play half a game and is in physio every couple of weeks . Jackson is out of his depth ,they both need to be gone , they are poor lge 1 players, we need to be getting far better players in if we are to progress.

Drifter3012 added 16:10 - Apr 17
Not going to comment on the performance as I saved my money, but glad we kept a clean sheet.
Still slightly bewildered by some of Cook's choices but glad he made at least some changes.
Why Bennetts over Dobra though?
Surely best to get Dobra more in the team if he is staying rather than a loanee, who we will never see again.
Still wondering where Hawkins is or what happened re Nydam?
I think maybe at Playford Road, some of these players must be shining each week, but on any other surface they just can't cut it. We keep being told what a huge squad we have but the likes of Edwards, Chambers, Sears etc still get on the team sheet each week, that makes little sense to me.


LimerickTractorBoy added 16:16 - Apr 17
Sorry boys but can you explain the down mark, it's only a question? What good are they to Ipswich at this stage, or ever? Answers please.

rgp1 added 16:56 - Apr 17
Well said slimjim

Nobbysnuts added 17:05 - Apr 17
Please just dismantle this shower of sh#te.....awful misfiring rubbish. And I'm really having my doubts about Norwood...how unfit is this man????

planetblue_2011 added 17:05 - Apr 17
The 2nd step is to score a goal! It can’t be that difficult.
Not a bad point away at the valley🤔

ThaiBlue added 17:07 - Apr 17
Not a bad performance but 2 little 2 late.why dont we ever put a free kick into there box no wonder we never score.get rid of bennetts Norwood and a load of others,Norwood bloody sick note.Roll on next season.

aloanagain added 17:22 - Apr 17
Dozzells corner kicks and free kicks are the same as Knudsons long throw in's. Waiting for something to happen. He's bound to get one right soon.

wewerefamous added 18:00 - Apr 17
We’ve just got to ride out the rest of the season, it won’t change so just need to keep our expectations for the rest of the season at sh1t level unfortunately. We expect big things next season Cookie and co. so please don’t disappoint us. Bring on next season... COYB

runningout added 18:00 - Apr 17
No major harm in complimenting our manager. Come a few months into next season maybe a slightly different story

juniorblue added 18:05 - Apr 17
I was excited when Norwood arrived but he has never really lived up to expectations. I wonder if the players lack of general fitness and athleticism contributes to certain players picking up so many injuries. This is one area of many that PC has to look at and improve.

barrystedmunds added 18:08 - Apr 17
I’m in the “ Keep Norwood” camp. His injuries aside, which are a concern, he knows where goal is and he gives opposition defenders a hard time. His problem has been, or rather our problem has been, the lack of service to him which PC seems to acknowledge.

ArnieM added 18:11 - Apr 17
Slim Jim. So essentially you’re giving Paul Cook, 20 weeks with a totally new squad of players are you ? You clearly have minimal appreciation of the game.


RegencyBlue added 18:20 - Apr 17
All about next season for me.

Hopefully this shower, bar one or two, won’t be here next season and frankly I won’t miss any of them!

blueboy1981 added 18:33 - Apr 17
Another point - thanks to the defence once again, don’t forget !!
No thanks to the powder puff rest of the team who would have difficulty scoring in a ‘you know what’ !!
GOALS and CLEAN SHEETS actually WIN matches - we’ve had plenty of clean sheets, in fact enough to have been well in the play off positions, or even higher !!
The Defence have more than done their bit this season - but what a catastrophic failure from the rest ? - NO Goal threat from the front or midfield - even at this p#ss poor level.
Give the two third failures a one way ticket to whoever is foolish enough to want them.

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