It was a good day at the office yesterday, and after the initial ten minutes, when Chesterfield were in the ascendancy, the rest of the first half was dominated by a purposeful Charlton side, whose passing and movement were just too much for John Sheridan's side. The two goals that seperated the side at the break could easily have been six, such was the superiority of the hosts.
As with all things Charlton, you sort of knew it wouldn't last of course, and the second half saw both teams emerge in a very lacklustre manner. It was Chesterfield that woke up first, and nobody could argue that it was a penalty. I am sure Morrison slipped slightly, which contributed to the mistimed tackle that led to Chesterfield's consolation goal from the penalty spot.
If that was an obvious penalty, then the incident that led to Sheridan being sent to the stands was just as obviously not a penalty. Wiggins going to ground, with his back to the attacking player would have known nothing of the ball that hit his arm, but that didn't stop the Chesterfield manager going into one with any official within hearing distance. There was no intent on Wiggins part, and to have conceded a penalty would have been unjust, and a sour note for our left back, who, for me, had his best game in a Charlton shirt yesterday.
Charlton's first goal was a clever piece of improvisation by Hayes, who flicked a ball from Wright-Phillips under his standing leg, and through a crowded penalty area into the net. If that was instinctive, then goal number two looked to be straight from the training ground, Jackson burying a quickly taken free kick cleverly slid to him by Stephens. It was good to see Powell berating Wagstaff soon after for leaving one of the opposition's strikers free on the edge of the penalty area at a Chesterfield corner, so messages about not switching off when 2-0 up are obviously being conveyed to the players at Sparrows Lane.
It took the penalty for Chesterfield to wake Charlton up, and even though the team were not playing with the same fluidity as in the first half, they started to make chances again. The third goal came courtesy of new boy Kermorgant. A straight replacement for Hayes, the former Leicester man had a very useful cameo in the last ten minutes. It was his clever precision pass that split the back line allowing Wagstaff all the time he needed to flight a ball across to Wright-Phillips to put the game beyond reach.
So, as per the form book, Charlton reach the end of September (nearly) on top of the pile. Three points ahead of second placed Sheffield United, and with a game in hand. But as all Addicks know, this coming week is the real acid test. MK Dons on Tuesday is a game I will be attending, as I did last year, when the performance was little short of dreadful. Sheffield United away on Saturday will be a true top of the table clash. Am I the only one that would settle for a draw in both right now?