Last night saw Chris Powell's 3 year anniversary at Charlton but sadly no party atmosphere as the Addicks were taken to the wire by a sprightly Oxford side
Many fans had their first look at the Valley pitch since recent work with the dome to protect the turf and hopefully restore it to playability. The match went ahead but the surface looked far from its best.
In the first half Chris' men also looked far from their best as a sprightly Oxford who are knocking on the League 2 promotion door, with two goals. One a deflected effort by Mullins, and the other finely crafted as Davies caught the Charlton defence flat footed in what Chris Powell has reportedly gone on to suggest was the worst 45 minutes of his tenure.
Slightly puzzling was the rather flat formation that started, with no width with messers Green and Harriot benched. Also absent were Solly and Stephens who were rested for the trip to Middlesborough on Saturday, although one might have thought they had had plenty of rest recently; and Stewart who's loan has ended. Neither of the new signings from Liege made an appearance. The Addicks still presented a strong line up however but looked far from their best and unable to adapt to the conditions as well as Oxford.
Blushes were spared when early in the second half Morrison nabbed one back from a Cook corner. The Addicks seemed a different team from earlier as Powell no doubt has some choice words in the dressing room, perhaps telling them to shoot which oddly they seemed unwilling to in the first half.. or perhaps his tactic of soaking up pressure first half only to take the fight to the opposition in the second paid off, albeit with a deficit to meet.
Later in the half talismanic Frenchman, Yann Kermogant provided respite as he powered home a long range volley from Green's Cross.
The end result allowed the Addicks to have another pop at an FA Cup run, with a replay at the Kassam Stadium next week setting the scores at 2-2.
With ticket prices set at a costly £19 for the replay date: 21st January CAS Trust have registered their disappointment with Oxford United, who after after a rule change recently can set prices independently of the opposition club - in contrast to the price of £10 for the Valley fixture.