Charlton faced Coventry at the Valley, fresh from a midweek 5-3 defeat to Scunthorpe, looking to get back to winning ways, after winning 4 in a row before last weekend’s draw at Luton. Coventry City, on the other hand, were looking for their first win in four.
The last time the two sides met at the Valley, in 2016, a 3-0 victory for Charlton was overshadowed by joint protests by both sets of supporters, which included a 10-minute delay due to foam pigs being thrown on the pitch. Today’s affair was much quieter on that front but was still a lively action-packed game with a thrilling finale.
The first half was dominated by Charlton, who were desperately unlucky not to take the lead in the first 5 minutes when Jordan Willis put his body on the line to make an excellent block from Tarique Fosu’s close-range effort. Charlton applied a lot of pressure and dominated possession without threatening too much, which nearly cost them when the Sky Blues broke and Conor Chaplin fired just over. The half-time whistle was just seconds away when Lyle Taylor cut into the box from the wing and was sliced down by Junior Brown. There was no doubt about the penalty, and likewise, there was no doubt about the taker, Taylor. The striker who has scored six already this season sent Lee Burge the wrong way to slot home from 12 yards coolly.
Coventry came out early from the break, eager to start and put in a much better performance, after a dismal first-half display. Charlton still edged the game but Coventry looked threatening on the break, and The Valley home faithful could sense a goal was coming.
The game defining moment came in the 57th minute when Mark Robins sent on Bakayoko for Clarke-Harris. The youngster caused a mostly untroubled Charlton defence all kinds of problems and found himself in an excellent position to tap in Luke Thomas’ cross with 10 minutes to go.
On the balance of the game, Charlton would have felt they deserved to win and Bowyer would have been angered by a lapse of concentration that let Coventry steal an unlikely point. Matters were worsened in injury time. Charlton nearly reaped their rewards for their dominance when Northern Ireland international Jamie Ward headed just wide from a free header at the far post. Coventry then went straight up the other end, and Bakayoko calmly headed home from a cross that Charlton keeper Jed Steer should have done better with, to be honest.
The result takes Charlton further away from the playoffs, and they would need to work on finishing off games, taking chances and not conceding late goals if they are to push for promotion. The international break will give Bowyer a chance to sort the team out in an attempt to turn around the current poor run of form.
Charlton Player Ratings
Atmosphere Review: 4/10
A poor showing from both sets of fans. Charlton were the quietest they have been all season and Coventry, despite travelling in very impressive numbers, took until the 80th minute to make any noise. Understandable, considering the team gave them little to cheer for before Bakayoko’s first.