As well as a reminder of how quickly things can change in a matter of seasons in football, the importance of Saturday’s League One clash between Charlton and Portsmouth in the context of the current season could not be understated.
After several years outside the top two tiers of English football, both sides currently reside in the League One play-off places, and both were in need of the three points.
A win for Portsmouth would have been a huge boost in their chase for an automatic promotion spot, while anything other than maximum points for Charlton would have surely ended any hopes of a top two spot for the Addicks.
In the end it was the home side who came out on top, Lyle Taylor’s goal six minutes into the second half sealing a 2-1 win for Lee Bowyer’s side, after Ronan Curtis’ header on the stroke of half time had cancelled out Joe Aribo’s opener for Charlton.
That it should be Taylor who struck the winner should be a huge confidence boost for Charlton in the run in for promotion.
The former AFC Wimbledon striker’s goal, his thirteenth in league competition this season, was his first in the league since the departure of strike partner Karlan Grant for Huddersfield in the January transfer window.
With Grant gone Taylor is now the only player in the Addicks’ squad to have made it into double figures in the goals column this season, and as such Charlton will be desperate for the forward to continue that form and fire Lee Bowyer’s side into the playoffs and potentially beyond.
With there seemingly a good chance that Portsmouth will be joining them in the playoffs, the league double that Taylor’s strike sealed over Kenny Jackett’s side could provide a huge psychological advantage for the Addicks should they meet again at the conclusion of the season, while only two automatic spots mean at least one of the three stand out sides of Luton; Barnsley and Sunderland will find themselves in that second battle for promotion.
Charlton will doubtless need goals to overcome any of these teams, so Taylor’s return to the scoresheet will be a welcome sight at The Valley.