Saturday, 27 August 2011

Good Gigg

A trip to Gigg Lane provided a different test for the Addicks who fought back from a goal down to clinch the win against League One new boys Bury. Charlton were without Bradley Wright-Phillips who reportedly has knee issues so Scott Wagstaff was pushed further up the field with Danny Green filling in on the right. Rob Elliot was also missing from the line-up giving Ben Hamer his league debut.

The Shakers took the lead with a Ryan Lowe free-kick which caught Charlton napping. Lowe struck as Ben Hamer was attempting to organise his wall and Chris Powell's men went behind for the first time this season.

Charlton pulled one back after the break when captain Johnnie Jackson sent in a ball which Paul Hayes latched on to and headed in his second goal of the campaign. Jackson was then on target after Dale Stephens split the bury defence and Jackson sneaked in at the far post to put the Addicks into the lead.

Once again the Addicks forced a nervous end to the game by sitting deep and inviting pressure from Bury. As with the Reading game however, the team defended well and ensure the three points to stretch their unbeaten run to 5 league matches.

All in all a good days work for the boys. It was great to see them make the come back as it's not always an easy task. Bury made it hard for us and played a physical game in parts. Continuing this unbeaten run will give us confidence going into the forth coming game against Sheffield Wednesday which may well be our stiffest test yet.

With Bradley Wright-Phillips out I did wonder where our goals were going to come from this afternoon. Jackson proved again how much we missed him last season and I was especially pleased to see Paul Hayes add to his tally. Hayes has been putting in some great effort and deserves to be amongst the goals. We do however we need a forward that can deputise well for BWP as his ongoing knee issues will ensure he will miss games.

The fact that Paul Benson has been interesting a number of clubs and Charlton have apparently accepted FOUR £150k transfer bids is a cause for concern. It is likely that Benson will leave and unless the club moves fast, we could find ourselves struggling for front men. I don't think Wagstaff is the answer. He's a decent enough midfielder, but he's no striker. Time is of the essence however and we may have to rely on a loan signing.

On the subject of transfers, Rob Elliot was also missing today and with no reasons provided it leaves me to suspect that Robbie will soon be leaving The Valley. Although unconfirmed at this point, there has been speculation that Newcastle were to make an improved offer, and judging by his absence, it would appear that the club are ready to do a deal.

Elliot will receive mixed reactions from the fans if he leaves, he has many supporters and just as many detractors. I personally think he is a decent enough keeper and the fact he is a local boy adds to his charm. It will be a shame if he goes, but any player would find a transfer to Newcastle hard to turn down.

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