ATale Of Two Halves
25 September 3.00 pm
Lennie Lawrence was a guest of the club yesterday. Quite what the man fondly known as Houdini made of procedings on the field is conjecture but it was the Daggers who performed the Houdini act yesterday.
Lennie and Robert Lee were given a rapturous reception at half-time when they were introduced to the crowd as the club marked the 25th anniversary of the supposedly last game at The Valley.
Half-time euphoria turned to second-half despair as a poor Dagenham side turned the game on its head. From total first-half dominance, Charlton were largely on the back foot after the break, a mirror image of the way things panned out at Prenton Park a week ago.
It had all started so brightly. Parkinson named an unchanged tean for the first time this season. Pawel Annott's injury kept him from bench duties and Alan McCormack was another absentee. Youngsters Tame Tuna and Alex Stavrinou were the replacements.
Lee Martin was on fire and tore the visitors apart early on, hitting the bar with one thumping drive. The Addicks carved out numerous chances before Miguel Llera gave them a tenth minute lead, when he rose majestically and unchallenged to convert Jackson's corner.
The home side dominated play but there was the usual uneasy feel around the ground as Charlton failed to turn their dominance into goals. They paid the price in first-half added on time. A disputed throw-in on the right saw them go to sleep. As the ball came into the area a needless nudge by Racon on Bas Savage was correctly adjudged to be a foul by referee Jon Moss. No, it wasn't the severest of challenges but it was a clear foul. The dangerous Danny Green held his nerve to bring the Daggers back to parity.
The second-half belonged almost entirely to the visitors and but for the excellence of Ross Worner Charlton could have ended the game empty handed. However, fate seemed on their side when Racon went some way to atoning for his error for the penalty, when he delivered a super ball for Johnnie Jackson to head home in the first minute of added on time.
Alas, the Addicks could not see out the remainder of injury time and Jon Nurse earned the visitors a deserved point with a brave, far post header.
Quite why Charlton's performances are so much worse after the break is a mystery but it is becoming repetitious and worrying. With Anyinsah and Reid picking up hamstring injuries to join Abbott and presumably McCormack in the treatment room, Parkinson has plenty to ponder ahead of the visit of Milton Keynes Dons on Tuesday.