Charlton Athletic picked up their first away point of the season at Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday evening.
An unfortunate Ben Purrington own goal in the second half earned Steve Evans’ men a point after an encouraging first half performance from the Addicks. Summer signing Corey Blackett-Taylor was instrumental in the opening exchanges and set up Elliot Lee to break his league duck for the club in the 18th minute.
Nigel Adkins went back to a 4-2-3-1 system after an unsuccessful 3-4-3 at Wycombe Wanderers last weekend, and despite coming up against lesser opposition it was clearly more effective in attacking areas.
Josh Davison made his first league start since the final match of the 2019/20 season and was a handful for the Gills backline, the 22-year-old’s relentless work rate at the top of the pitch helped Charlton move into the final third and forced the team to play more passes along the ground with him replacing the aerial threat of Jayden Stockley.
Here, then, we take a look at three lessons Adkins would have learnt from the frustrating 1-1 draw at Priestfields…
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Davison valid option
After an up and down loan spell at Forest Green Rovers last term there would have been doubts over Davison’s credentials at League One level.
The 22-year-old does not have the attributes of a player who could score 20 goals or maybe even double figures this season but what he does not have he makes up for in enthusiasm and endeavour.
His constant harrying and hassling on Tuesday evening created space on the flanks for Blackett-Taylor and Conor Washington who could have both got on the scoresheet in the first half.
Quiz: Are these 22 Charlton Athletic stats real or fake?
Blackett-Taylor showed his quality in flashes for Tranmere Rovers last term and only has a contract running till January at Charlton, but he grabbed the opportunity of his first league start with both hands causing Robbie McKenzie all kinds of problems down the right.
With Diallang Jaiyesimi, Jonathan Leko and Charlie Kirk all competing for spots out wide Blackett-Taylor was expected to be at the bottom of the pecking order but the 23-year-old has staked a claim for a regular spot with back to back impressive performances.
After completing his first 90 minutes in the league for almost 19 months it seems unlikely the Aston Villa youth product will keep his place for the weekend’s hosting of Portsmouth.
Ben Purrington’s return
Purrington came straight into the starting XI and completed the match despite not being involved at all previously this season. The left back’s return is an extremely welcome one and despite the own goal the 25-year-old brought a calmness to the back four and competently supported attacks down the left.
Purrington has been through the ringer at Charlton, one of six remaining survivors from the club’s 2019/20 Championship relegation and he will be keen to kick on and help the club climb the table in the coming weeks.