We share the same sponsor, and we share the same players, with no less than six ex Charlton in their squad. Oh, and their management team also has more than a nodding acquaintance with Sparrows Lane as well. It is only reasonable therefore that for the second time this season we should share the points. This was a game we should have won, and a game we could have lost. On the balance of chances created, Charlton should have buried this one, but did not. We played one of the weakest teams in the division yesterday, and were evenly matched, and yet I cannot point a finger of criticism at any one player, as having had a mare. We have indeed found our level.
A word here in support of Mooney, or "Moons" as Parkinson calls him, a monicker that shows all the imagination and originality that football managers are near legendary for. He had a good game yesterday, leading the line well, holding up the ball and laying it off with some aplomb, and his goal was both deserved, and very good. It isn't very helpful to abuse players, but Mooney seems to be attracting a level of criticism that yesterday was quite simply not fair. To boo the whole team off at half time may have been understandable; to shout "Parky Out" only reasonable in light of the horror show at the The Toolbox, but quite simply the level of expectation among fans is still unnaturally high. As Parkinson said "We did as much as we possibly could do", it is just unfortunate that it is not good enough, even in our present lowly surroundings.
I do feel that our recent stuttering performances are at least partly influenced by the simple fact that Bailey is horribly out of form. The team is simply not clicking at present, with Racon hiding yesterday, and Bailey spraying wild passes with wreckless abandon, Charlton entered the dreaded last ten games with little indication that this seasons run in will be any better than any of the others since our first skirmish with the promised land of the Premiership, all those years ago. In the following twelve years, the most points we have gleaned from the final ten games was thirteen, and that was in our Championship winning season. To maintain a play off place, Charlton will have to do at least that well, and an automatic place I feel is a step beyond our abilities this year.
Whether Elliot paid the price for his fumble that gifted Gillingham their second goal, we will have to wait and see. I know the club are saying that he was injured, but there was no sign of any problem that I could see, and it would indeed have been harsh to have removed him for one mistake, when those around him were chalking up far more. We are still third. at least until Monday night, a sign that those around us are just as fallible as we are. It doesn't make me feel any better though.