Charlton Athletic saw two changes to the their starting line-up, with Patrick Bauer returning to replace Ezri Konsa, and skipper Johnnie Jackson being taken out of midfield for Nicky Ajose to play upfront. Slade deployed a Charlton side in a 4-4-2 formation.
Chesterfield came to the Addicks deploying a side in a dynamic formation, which would interchange between 3-5-1 and 5-3-1.
Charlton Athletic sealed all three points at the Valley this weekend, thanks to a late 86th minute goal from ex-Chesterfield player Lee Novak. The fact it was in the closing minutes, made the goal much sweeter, but to seize victory so late against a team in the relegation zone is nothing to be excited about.
Ricky Holmes drove down the left wing, with a firing cross into the box, which the late substitute Lee Novak headed into the back of the net.
In the first half Gardner came close to opening the score sheet for Chesterfield, after some classy footwork in the Addicks’ box to win space, but his following low shot smacked against Rudd’s left post.
Six minutes later Josh Magennis played the ball through to Nicky Ajose, who beat Ryan Fulton, only for his shot to slice Fulton’s left post.
The Northern Irish striker put in another shift, although not his best performance, with one header being kept out by a super one-handed save by Fulton, as well as another header later on from the striker just dipping wide.
Magennis did succeed in putting the ball in the back of the net on Saturday, but the referee had already given a foul for Fulton, who succumbed to Magennis’s physical ability which lead Fulton to bundle, with the ball consequently bouncing over the line.
Jordan Botaka came on in the 70th minute to replace Ademola Lookman who did not have an impressive game, taking two corners which went out for goal kicks before the ball entered the box.
Botaka was impressive, and I am beginning to see why Leeds United have a soft spot for the player. At one point in the game, he took on three players and held the ball in the corner, allowing the rest of the Addicks to press forward. It could be an idea for Slade to consider starting Botaka over Lookman to see just how many chances can be created through his skills and pressing play. It is also worth taking into account that Lookman is still young, and from the last few games he seems to be burning out – whenever the starlet lost the ball on Saturday due to an individual error, he made no attempts to redeem himself by trying to win the ball back.
An uninspiring performance. Charlton Athletic are still seeing problems in pressing as an attacking a unit, and being able to link up effectively on the pitch. A welcoming three points never the less.
Charlton have now obtained 20 points and sit 14th – four points from the play-offs. There is a common trend across all English football leagues this year, and that is how small the points gap is between teams.
Charlton: Rudd; Solly, Bauer, Pearce, Fox; Holmes, Crofts, Ulvestad, Lookman (Botaka 70); Magennis, Ajose (Novak 81).
Subs (Not Used): Phillips, Foley, Konsa, Lennon, Jackson.
Goal: Novak 86
Booked: Fox 17 (Foul), Magennis 70 (Simulation)
Chesterfield: Fulton; Graham (Dennis 88), Liddle, Evatt, Hird, Donohue; Dimaio, O’Neill, Gardner (O’Shea 66); Ariyibi, Evans (German 88)