Another abject display in the opening period at Griffin Park left the Addicks with a mountain to climb after the break yesterday.
Former Charlton youngster, Myles Weston, drove forward and unleashed a shot which stung the palms of the returning Rob Elliot in the Charlton goal. I timed that shot at 18 seconds into the match and it set the tone for another wretched performance from Phil Parkinson’s team.
The game was up at half-time when the Addicks trudged back to the dressing room two goals down. In the 36 league games since Millwall visited The Valley last December, Charlton have ony scored more than twice on one occasion, when Chris Solly slotted in an added on time third at Leyton Orient at the beginning of the season. We are talking about Third Tier football here with any number of distinctly ordinary opponents being faced in the interim. Something is very wrong.
Brentford were rock bottom and must have thought Christmas had arrived early, such was the lack of fight shown by their visitors. Quick, incisive they led the Addicks a merry dance. Indeed, the fourh official had held up his board to indicate an extra minute was to be played before Wagstaff tested Ben Hamer for the first time. The paucity of chances created is becoming a regular feature now.
Parkinson was unable to guide his troops of course as he was serving another touchline ban for indiscipline. He was later to question his team’s attitude in the opening period. Referees, players attitude, lovely guy though he is, Parkinson is sounding evermore like his old boss when it comes to deflecting blame.
Former Millwall player, Gary Alexander, lashed in the first after 12 minutes as Charlton failed to clear a corner. Myles Weston, tormented Simon Francis throughout the half and following great work he set up Toumani Diagouraga to thunder home the second on the half hour mark. It was no more than the Bees deserved, they had torn Charlton apart.
Charlton went off to a cacophany of boos at the break after being mocked with a ‘we’ve had a shot’ chant shortly before.
The interval saw Abbott and Kyel Reid warming up and the pair were introduced in place of Martin and Fry at the restart with Jackson dropping back into defence.
Reid was dangerous as the Addicks turned in a much better performance but how much was down to Brentford playing more cautiously is open to debate. Wagstaff reduced the arrears after 73 minutes when his crisp, left-foot finish beat Hamer at his near post. It was Reid who supplied the cross of course.
Akpo Sodje came on for a brief cameo but despite having a couple of chances he could not complete the comeback. Sodje was to leave the field before the end with what looked like a nasty hamstring injury.
The Addicks next six league fixtures see them visit Plymouth, Carlisle, Swindon and Peterborough, with table-topping Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday being October’s Valley visitors. Right now the immediate future looks bleak.