Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Charlton 0-0 Blackpool: Charlton frustrated by gritty Blackpool

Posted on 16 February 2019 by Jack Cunningham

A hard fought match ended goalless at The Valley, as two promotion chasing teams served up a low quality affair with very few clear cut chances and an extremely frustrated home crowd. Blackpool though, were good value for their point thanks to an excellent defensive display.

Josh Parkes had two excellent chances to nick the win but, Blackpool skipper Curtis Tilt put in two outstanding blocks to deny him on both occasions.

Blackpool were strong defensively throughout, with Tilt in particular outstanding and Armand Gnanduillet nearly nicked it for them at the end as he skied a golden opportunity.

Blackpool who of course were finally freed from the tyranny of the Oystons ownership this week, brought a small following down to London and their manager could not even name a full 18-man squad with only six on the bench.

They came to Charlton looking for a win to celebrate a great week for them, but Charlton are in the play-off hunt and The Valley was rocking, especially as top goal scorer Lyle Taylor returned from a three-match suspension.

The Valley’s press area is very interesting as you find yourself sandwiched between an entire tier positioned behind you when they thought the referee had got something wrong you were left in no doubt about how the home crowd felt. Throughout the game this frustration grew with each miss-placed pass and soft foul given away by their team.

Despite this though, the Charlton faithful in the upper tier sang non-stop including their own version of “Allez Allez” and made for one of the better atmospheres I have experienced this season.

The Blackpool fans themselves took about 15 minutes before they started chanting “If you hate Oyston stand up” to which they all did without hesitation.

If this display is anything to go by then they should have a positive future free from the Oyston’s

Before the game, a minutes applause was held to remember the legend Gordon Bank who sadly passed away this week.  

Blackpool started the game lively particularly Harry Pritchard who made a fantastic burst into the box but, his low cross from the byline could not find one of his teammates and the chance went begging.

It took 15 minutes before The Addicks mustered a shot on goal as Joe Aribo cross from the left found Williams, but his shot was blocked by Ben Heneghan.

Williams who of course has featured in the Premier League and last season starred in Netflix’s Sunderland Till I Die was a class above everyone else on the field.

He gracefully glided his way through the Blackpool midfield on numerous occasions and his good work in the 20th minute should have brought the opening goal as Williams fed Aribo in the box, his cross was perfect for Parker, but from six-yards-out he fluffed his lines and Blackpool survived.

Williams produced the first meaningful effort on target as he unleashed a strike from 25 yards, which bounced awkwardly but Mark Howard held on.

Just second later Blackpool produced their first shot on target as Gnanduillet -who scored in midweek against Sunderland- drove into the box and hammered a shot at goal, but Dillon Phillips blocked it well with his chest.  

Charlton were the team on top however, and just ten minutes later they nearly took the lead, as Williams and Aribo linked up again, Williams having the shot from a narrow angle in the box and Howard spread himself well to deny the Welshman.

Lee Bowyer made a change at half-time as he brought on Mark Marshall, and just two minutes after the re-start Charlton nearly took the lead as Parkes was played in by Aribo and he unleashed a goal bound effort but Tilt threw himself bravely in front of the shot.

Charlton were now attacking the end which housed their very vocal supporters, this seemed galvanise them and on 60 minutes they should have taken the lead as Afernee Dijksteel put in a wonderful cross that Josh Cullen just could quite not reach.

Then came Gnanduillet’s chance, he danced his way into the box and found himself one-on-one with Phillips but he lifted his shot over the bar, instead of into the net.

Charlton responded through Aribo as he played a neat one-two with Taylor but saw his goalbound effort blocked by Heneghan.

Bowyer brought on Igor Vetokele to try and find the winner and there was a massive penalty shout at the end from the Addicks, as Ben Purrington’s cross appeared to strike Donervon Daniels on the arm but referee Kevin Johnson was unmoved.

That was the last chance of the game as the full-time whistle brought a chorus of boos from the home end, but over in the far corner the Blackpool fans were overjoyed, a positive result to end a positive week for them.

Charlton meanwhile have lost momentum in recent weeks and were pretty short on ideas today, Bowyer will have to change something soon to keep up their promotion chase.

Lineups Charlton: GK Dillon Phillips, Anfernee Dijksteel, Patrick Bauer, Lyle Taylor, Josh Parker, Ben Reeves, Ben, Purrington, Joe Aribo, Jonny Williams, Naby Sarr, Josh Cullen  

Subs: Chris Maxwell, Mark Marshall, Igor Vetokele, Darren Pratley, Chris Solly, George Lapsile, Reeco Hacket-Fairchild

Blackpool GK Mark Howard, Donervon Daniels, Nick Anderton, Antony Evans, Ben Heneghan, Harry Pritchard, Curtis Tilt, Oliver Turton, Armand Gnandulliet, Nya Kirby, Chris Long

Subs: Christoffer Mafoumbi, Nathan Delfouneso, Joe Dodoo, Michael Nottingham, Chris Taylor, Liam Feeney