After 82 minutes, the minority of fans in the red corner of St Andrews were struggling to maintain control of their emotions. A header from Leon Cort following a cleared corner being swung back in by Johnnie Jackson and headed across goal by Jordan Cook gave The Addicks a 1-0 advantage that only a handful thought realistic. But 4 minutes into 4 minutes of stoppage time Charlton were brought back down to earth with a strike from sub Nikola Zigic to level the match at 1-1.
A score that on paper should probably be met with delight from every Charlton fan. However, given the context of the game, the most popular feeling was disappointment. Most importantly though, we’ve shown we wont be pushovers this season and will give anyone a game.
One moment that will be looked back on with regret is a miss from Yann Kermorgant in the first half. A contender for miss of the season on day one. The ball was crossed in by captain Jackson and, somehow, headed over with an open goal in his wake by the Frenchman from barely a couple of yards. Wright-Phillips failed to convert a number of chances and Jackson himself forced young England international Butland into a number of saves throughout the match.
Much like Tuesday night, there seemed to be a problem with missed chances, but unlike Tuesday night, the performance was exceptional. Leon Cort did not lose an ariel challenge all 90 minutes, unfortunately, after the 90 minute mark, 6’9 Zigic took control. Hollands and Stephens dictated play in a midfield battle against Mullins and Morrison. Solly and Wiggins were fantastic both defensively and going forward and a special mention to Bradley Pritchard for yet another bulldog-like display.
It may seem like Birmingham didn’t turn up and got lucky, but that isn’t the case. Chris Burke and Marlon King showed their class whilst Jack Butland radiated composure. Their best chances game in a spell just before Charlton’s goal, most notably through Burke and Nathan Redmond who both blazed over from promising positions. Curtis Davies was their Birmingham’s star man, holding off Wright-Phillips from running on to countless Kermorgant flick-ons. They’ll certainly be there or there abouts come the end of the season.
All in all, a very proud today to be an Addick, if not a little disappointing. But this is what The Championship is all about, and although a little harsh, there will be more days like this in the coming months. I’m sure they’ll be plenty of good days too.