An away draw at Birmingham. Sounds alright on paper doesn’t it? Sounds even better considering Charlton were playing their first game in the Championship for three seasons against one of the fancied sides for promotion. However, Charlton players and fans alike left St Andrews feeling more than a little sick after the giant Nicola Zigic rescued a point with a scarcely deserved stoppage time equaliser.
Charlton were made to pay for squandering a multitude of chances which would have seen the points sewn up long before Leon Cort put the visitors in front. It is a lesson they must learn quickly if they are to be successful in this division, but that said, it was a hugely impressive display from Chris Powell’s men.
Fielding a very familiar looking line-up to the one that finished last season, the Londoners turned in a performance which showed they are more than capable of making the transition up to Championship football this season. They missed chance after chance with Kermorgant, Wright-Phillips and skipper Johnnie Jackson all seeing opportunities come and go. Indeed it looked as if the game would probably end scoreless until centre back Leon Cort gave The Addicks an 82nd minute lead. Johnnie Jackson delivering a ball into the box which found its way to Cort by way of the head of debutant Jordan Cook and Kermorgant. He made no mistake from close range. 1,637 Charlton fans went wild behind the goal as Lee Clark gave Nicola Zigic the nod to get ready.
The big Serbian didn’t let Clark down and showed his finishing ability when the chance presented itself. A bouncing loose ball came his way and he made no mistake firing a clinical strike into the corner. The blues fans went into raptures celebrating as if they had won the game. To Charlton, it felt like a defeat.
Birmingham, boasting an England goalkeeper in Jack Butland making his first appearance as well several other very talented performers had got out of jail. Despite a couple of decent openings, the likes of Darren Ambrose and Ravel Morrison, also making league debuts couldn’t make the impact the home support would have wanted. This is though, very early days for a team with an impressive young manger in Lee Clark and several new personnel in the ranks. They will certainly play much better this season.
Next up for Charlton, a home fixture against another fancied side in Leicester. A similar level of performance on Tuesday night with a touch more quality in front of goal and the home fans should be able to celebrate the win they should have had here. One things for sure, they will play a lot worse than this and win games this season.