Charlton Athletic 2 v Fleetwood Town 0
Three important points this afternoon in a game reminiscent of the relegation scrap it was. The quality might not have been there but we did see a steely determination to compete and after having endured an early onslaught from the visitors, the game settled down and became increasingly less stressful to watch. The line-up reiterated that Johnnie Jackson looks wedded to a 3-5-2 formation. No Purrington,, no Matthews, just Blackett-Taylor high on the left and Jaiyesimi opposite him. That left us with Famewo, Inniss and Clare in defence and they struggled early on as Fleetwood made the running. Two early twenty-odd yard free-kicks screamed over our bar. A decent header from eight yards out and a right-wing cross from Paddy Lane which clipped the bar. After we forced our best chance of the first-half, when Elliott Lee saw his second attempt at goal superbly pushed out by a one-handed save low to the keeper's left, we finally came into the game. Lee had been anonymous up until that effort around the 36 minute mark and we were not making much progress down the flanks. Morgan and Dobson were busy scrapping in the middle but Fleetwood were playing their way through us up until then.Following the restart and with the Addicks attacking the Covered End, we began to find a little bit more space and were able to keep the visitors looking over their shoulders. Our first goal came from a deep driven cross from Elliott Lee (I think) which Ryan Inniss rose to meet outside the back post and thumped a header across the six yard box where Mason Burstow was first to react and get his head across it to steer it in. I was really pleased for Burstow who clearly has so much yet to learn but who has still managed to keep nicking goals despite relatively few touches in games. That's his third and as long as he continues to poach the odd goal, his overall contribution is less important as he finds his way. His game will come and so will more goals. He eventually made way for Conor Washington and Elliott Lee did likewise for Alex Gilbey. It was a late Gilbey run across the box that lead to the second goal in added time. Albie Morgan had just missed a golden opportunity having tidied up outside the box, skipped his way into space and firing a low cross-shot which just missed the back post and a screaming Conor Washington. Gilbey's run and right-angled cut-back wasn't cleared fully and it fell to Morgan on the volley fifteen yards out. He drilled his shot home and was clearly delighted to make amends and have cemented his recent return to the team. The win lifts us a place or two but we remain only six points off the drop. There are plenty of sides between us and Morecombe though and it will take a major crash for us to let them all leapfrog us before May. The next three months of the season need to be about preparation for next year. Terry Skiverton will get to know the set-up and Johnnie Jackson needs to work out who he wants and who he doesn't. We will get to see Juan Castillo at left wing-back soon although the chances of him still being with us next season are slim. We have also been linked this week with a couple of other loans which may or may not happen next week. However, we look to have enough now with Aneke (didn't do an awful lot today) back to see the season out and I am unsure of the merits of giving game time to loanees whom we have no realistic prospect of signing beyond May. Jackson would be better off trying to get the midfield playing with something like the fluidity of the Plymouth and Ipswich home performances.We have Portsmouth away and AFC Wimbledon at home next before a run of four very tricky looking fixtures. Bolton and Wigan away from home will be tough and then we face Oxford United and MK Dons who always battle at the Valley. I am banking on us raising our game once again here to ensure we keep putting points on the board.