It's a funny old game isn't it? For most of the first half last Saturday, Charlton played some of the best football I have seen at The Valley for many a year. Last night at the comfortable if soulless home of the MK Dons, we were unable to replicate it, or indeed get anywhere near the same level of performance. Much of the "credit" for that has to go to Robinson and Gorman, whose five man midfield set out to frustrate and nullify the threat of Hollands and Stephens, and for the first half they were very successful at it.
The second part of the strategy was to exploit Wagstaff and Solly down our right side. Solly stuck gamely to the task of containing Lewington and Balanta amongst others. Wagstaff was not so successful at it, and was caught in possession all too frequently by the hard working MK Dons midfield. It was a shame that it was Solly who brought down Lewington for the penalty, as he deserved better for a battling and whole hearted performance.
The replacement of Wagstaff by Green mid way through the second half had an immediate effect, stiffening up an embattled right flank, but with Kermorgant replacing Hayes just after the introduction of Green, came the equaliser. The feint that Green pulled on Lewington was a joy to see. The former Wimbledon man had controlled his left (and our right) flank all match with an authoritative display, but within minutes of being on, Green mugged him completely and was scampering away towards the goal before the MK Dons number three knew what had happened. His cross was a beauty, and the onrushing Kermorgant got his head to it. Martin in The MK Dons goal will probably wince when he sees the replay of the ball hitting him, bouncing onto the post and in, but it was just reward for a far better second half display from Charlton.
On balance a draw was a fair result, and both sides could have gone on to win it in the closing stages. When the final whistle came, it was the first half of a difficult week over. I said in an earlier post that I would be happy with two draws from this week, and I see little reason to change that expectation now.