Charlton picked up their first home clean sheet in league football since November last year as they battled to a hard fought 0-0 draw against Blackpool on Saturday.
Despite being frustratingly short on goalscoring opportunities at either end of the pitch; from an Addicks perspective, there was a visible continuation of the improvement that began in midweek against Nottingham Forest.
The passing was slick, the defending was solid and the decision making was for the most part, mature.
It took until the stroke of half-time for either side to fashion a clear chance. It was route-one stuff from the Tangerine visitors as a Jack Robinson long throw was slung over into the Covered End penalty area with which Ricardo Fuller beat his marker to make solid contact. The ball flew towards the bottom right corner of the goal but Hamer flung himself across the goal and with safe hands, made a great save holding onto the ball.
It took until deep into the second half for the Addicks to seriously test Matt Gilks in the Blackpool goal as his well struck drive from 25 yards stung the ‘keeper’s fingertips as the ball was pushed onto the post and out for a corner.
Those two opportunities aside, it was a frustrating afternoon for both sides in an attacking sense. Both sides started both halves brightly but were soon nullified by strong defences. A game of tactical cat and mouse played out between Ince and Powell as formation changes and personnel switches were the order of the day. The Addicks started out with a 4-4-2 diamond, later changing to a straight 4-4-2 and at the end were playing a 4-5-1/4-3-3. Blackpool on the other hand, started with the mercurial Tom Ince on one wing, switched him to the other and also through the middle as they looked for a way to unlock the Addicks’ defence.
And it was Ince that almost broke the deadlock in the last minute of normal time. The otherwise assured Lawrie Wilson misdirected his header across the goalmouth for the tricky winger to run on to but it summed up the starlet’s afternoon as he dragged his drive harmlessly across goal. It should have been buried; a real let off.
Chris Powell through on Bradley Pritchard, Cameron Stewart and Joe Pigott at separate moments throughout the match, hoping to find a magic combination but with four key players missing in Cort, Solly, Jackson and Kermorgant a spark was missing to find a winner, as we found against Forest in midweek.
Unfortunately we were unable to grab all three points but with two games unbeaten and only one goal conceded, there’s plenty to be encouraged by going into the international break. Tough games against Blackburn and Wigan are up next but the Addicks should take heart from the last week of Valley football. Onwards and upwards hopefully. COYR.