It never rains, it pours – that’s how Nigel Adkins will be feeling tonight after seeing his Charlton Athletic side slump to an eventually heavy defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderers at The Valley in Sky Bet League One.
On a day where autumn very much seemed to arrive in large portions of the UK, Tuesday night in SE7 felt like the winter of Adkins’ reign, with chants following the Trotters’ third goal less than ten minutes from time of ‘we want Adkins out,’ followed by a rendition supporting Johnnie Jackson.
Early on, Charlton actually looked in the ascendancy here. They started brightly and got an early goal via Josh Davison; the striker building on his effort against Portsmouth at the weekend with an instinctive finish applied to Jonathan Leko’s right-hand cross.
Indeed, Charlton were bright through the likes of Leko and Corey Blackett-Taylor but could not build their lead in the first half and, in their precarious position, Adkins may well have feared what could and would happen if the Trotters found themselves back in it.
Come half-time, then, that’s exactly what they were, with Dapo Afolayan allowed to cut inside from the left and stroke his finish past Craig MacGillivray into the right corner of the goal.
At recent half-time breaks, boos have greeted Charlton and Adkins but, after what was a genuinely promising enough first-half, Addicks fans clapped their team off – how much difference a second 45 minutes can make in football.
Indeed, the Reds could not get themselves back in front and it was the Trotters who got the all-important second goal that rather killed the mood, Kieran Lee the man to fire home via a deflection.
And, if that killed the mood, his second strike rather turned things on their heads altogether. As soon as Bolton’s third goal had hit the net to finish the contest, large sections of the home support turned, leaving question marks very much hanging over Adkins – this just days after owner Thomas Sandgaard had tweeted that results were needed following the draw with Portsmouth.
After that, The Valley – or at least three sides of it – started to empty and there were certainly a fair fewer faces to see Wanderers seal their victory in style, with Antoni Sarcevic rounding Craig MacGillivray in the eight minutes of injury time to make it 4-1.
This was a night that started positively enough for Charlton, then, but it finished on a very sour note indeed, and it’s hard to see how even a man as upbeat as Nigel Adkins sees the light on a night like this.