Right, let's start with a positive shall we? If Charlton can play as they did in the first half an hour of this game, as they apparently did in the first half of the Tranmere game, then I can see where Parkinson is going, and that this group of players can indeed become a team to fight for promotion from the third division. So one sided was the first thirty minutes, that after Llera's towering header put us ahead, it seemed like only a matter of time before the floodgates opened. Dagenham were poor, very poor, and were there for the taking. Once again though our profligacy in front of goal came back to haunt us.
The game for me turned on the penalty incident. I know I am in a minority here, but for me it definitely was a penalty. You cannot shove a striker in the back while he is in the air and expect to get away with it. A very soft penalty for sure, but a penalty nevertheless. The ramifications of that action changed the match. First, Parkinson lost it, and got himself sent to the stands for the second half, but more telling for me was what he said, or indeed, did not say during the half time team talk.
The perceived wrong of the referee's decision should have given Parkinson the opportunity to fire up his troops for an all action, "injustice" fuelled second half. The fact that it did not, and that Charlton were second best throughout the second period says more to me about the manager's lack of ability to motivate, and instill discipline, even in himself, never mind his team, than anything else. The player to show that lack of discipline more than any other was the hapless Llera.
Momentarily a hero in the first half, Llera made three mistakes in the second half, any one of which could have ended in a goal. The first two came with the team pushed up, and with Llera just inside his own half. Bad decision making on both occasions resulted in an opposing player scampering away from him, fortunately to be thwarted by a combination of a scrambling Doherty and Worner. The third incident saw him being turned on the edge of his own eighteen yard line and found wanting for pace, this time Worner on his own coming to the rescue.
What of Fortune? If he is fit enough to make the bench, surely he must be fit enough to appear on the pitch? Llera needs a spell on the sidelines, and for me it needs to happen before Dailly is fit to return. Even if Fortune is not the answer yet, why not put Fry back there? I don't go with the argument that he cannot handle big strikers; after all he is a Wet Spam academy graduate, one that they believe will make it, and put faith in that judgement by giving him a new contract at the end of last season. I am sure he has dealt with big strikers before, and will again, whether in a Charlton shirt or not.
The team only began to look threatening again when Reid came off with a leg problem, the result of which saw Jackson pushed up into left midfield with Fry slotting in at left back. Leaving aside the well taken goal, the quality of crossing and dead ball delivery from Jackson was infinitely superior to that of the injured Reid, although in fairness to him, he was only on the pitch for about ten minutes. In a midfield that isn't providing the ammunition to our misfiring strikeforce, I believe Jackson should be given a chance on the left side of midfield. Perhaps then, Benson will get a quality of service to allow him to threaten defences again. Yesterday he was anonymous throughout, and most of that was down to a lack of quality ball to him.
So, where are we? Two games played against bottom four teams, and only two points gained from the six on offer. This is not promotion seeking form or capability, and just isn't good enough, it really isn't.