Gary Haines reports from The Vallley
Honours ended even at The Valley on Saturday as Charlton hit back for a point against troubled Blackburn Rovers.
A 26th-minute header from skipper Johnnie Jackson, just moments after he had seen a penalty saved, cancelled out Dickson Etuhu’s opener for Rovers.
The Addicks were the better side after that and Danny Green hit the post before the break with veteran keeper Paul Robinson saving well from Danny Green and Bradley Wright-Phillips at the death.
Rovers, whose preparation for the game was hindered when their former manager Steve Kean left his post the previous evening, seemed content for a point as the game continued as a black week ended with a point for caretaker boss Eric Black.
On another day the Addicks would have piled on the pain for the Ewood Park side but they were not without their problems as striker Ricardo Fuller was ruled out of the game with a virus and Jackson then pulled up through injury early in the second half.
Despite plenty of enterprise, with wingers Green and Salim Kerkar particularly dangerous, they didn’t have the know-how to break down a well-drilled Rovers rearguard.
The sides went in level at the break after an action-packed opening period which saw Charlton respond well to falling behind.
It was Rovers who took the lead as Etuhu finished off a slick move on the quarter-hour, but the Addicks hit back through their skipper.
He had a penalty saved by Robinson in the 26th minute after Cort was upended in the box, but there was scarcely time for him to reflect on his first in-game spot-kick miss in Charlton colours.
From the next attack the ball reached the recalled Danny Hollands and his bouncing bomb was nodded in by Jackson from close range.
The Addicks were the better side for the rest of the opening period with Kerkar. Jackson and Hollands all seeing shots blocked by well-placed defenders.
And 10 minutes before the break they went close to taking the lead as the impressive Danny Green thumped a shot against the right post.
Cort’s header was cleared off the line soon after the restart with Powell forced into a reshuffle as an injured Jackson made way for Pritchard.
It was Charlton who had the better of the play for much of the half, although clear chances were at a premium at both ends.
The lack of boos from the home fans highlighted former Addick Danny Murphy’s influence in proceedings, while Nuno Gomes was taken off before the end as the visitors seemed content to see out the closing stages with the odd chance of a break going their way.
And Charlton might have taken all three points at the end but Robinson got behind a shot from Green and then denied Wright-Phillips a spectacular winner by tipping his injury-time overhead kick over.
In terms of team news Charlton were forced into a late change for the visit of Blackburn.
Striker Fuller was sidelined by illness so Hollands returned to midfield in a reshuffled starting line-up.
Skipper Johnnie Jackson started in the hole behind Wright-Phillips with Hollands slotting into a central role alongside Dale Stephens.
After a tumultuous week in which their manager Kean was going and then staying before eventually leaving his post on Friday evening, Rovers were caretaker-bossed by Eric Black at The Valley.
In the absence of Fuller, Powell was forced into making that solitary change following last weekend’s rot-stopping win at Ipswich Town.
Ben Hamer continued betweens the posts with Chris Solly again at left-back and Lawrie Wilson on the right.
Leon Cort and Michael Morrison were the central pairing and there was a full Valley league debut for Kerkar on the left with the in-form Green on the opposite flank.
Hollands and Dale Stephens started in the middle with Jackson popping up behind striker Wright-Phillips.
There was a return to the bench for Jordan Cook following his recent eye ulcer, and he was joined in the reserve ranks by David Button, Cedric Evina, Dorian Dervite, Bradley Pritchard, Scott Wagstaff and Michael Smith.
The visitors, who lost their first game of the season last weekend against Middlesbrough, fielded a familiar face in their side in the shape of skipper – and former Addick - Murphy.
The dangerous Jordan Rhodes was up front with former Portugal international Gomes operating just behind.
Keeper Paul Robinson boasted many miles on the clock too, while Jason Lowe filled in on the right of midfield.
Dale Stephens fired the first shot of a sunny afternoon over the bar in the third minute while Murphy’s ever touch was booed by the home supporters.
After an opening quarter-hour in which the teams were feeling each other out, Charlton went close to an opener.
A Hollands throw was only partially cleared and the ball fell to Kerkar who flashed a low drive across the face of goal and inches wide of the right upright.
But it was Rovers who took the lead on 17 minutes through Etuhu.
It was a slick move too and finished with Rhodes, instead of shooting, filtering a fine ball across the box to an unmarshalled midfielder who buried a shot past Hamer.
After a Black week it was the perfect start to the Black regime, and Cort headed over at the other end before Jackson took centre stage.
First came the 26th-minute spot kick when Rovers were penalised for a foul on Cort in the box. Morten Pedersen and Scott Dann were in close attendance with referee Darren Deadman immediately pointing to the spot.
The skipper stepped up and drilled his shot with power straight down the middle, but Robinson was equal to the task, extending his frame fully and saving from his former Tottenham teammate with his legs.
There was hardly time to draw breath before the Addicks drew level.
The ball eventually reached Hollands on the left side of the box and when he took aim Jackson was ideally placed to cleverly head the ball home from close range.
While all this was happening Gomes was off the field receiving treatment, and the hosts quickly fashioned another opening as the lively Green got round the ball and centered for Kerkar whose cracking first-time drive clattered against Gael Givet and span to safety.
As the visitors broke, Powell was furious as Gomes was allowed to run straight back onto the field and join the attack. Thankfully it came to nothing.
There were jeers for Rhodes as he ballooned a shot from range while cheers came Solly’s way as he outwitted Gomes with some neat skill on the near touchline.
10 minutes before the break the hosts were a whisker away from taking the lead through Green.
An influential figure as Charlton assumed control of proceedings, he showed more nifty footwork to wriggle into space on the edge of the box and fired in a shot that beat Robinson but smacked the right post.
The hosts then went close again on 40 minutes as the overlapping Wilson got away from his man and whipped in a low cross, which fell invitingly to Jackson.
The skipper’s powerful shot was blocked by an alert defender and Hollands’ follow-up also came back off a blue and white halved torso.
And it was the visitors who were the happier to hear the half-time whistle as the teams went in all square at the break.
The Addicks almost went in front four minutes after the restart as Cort rose at a corner and his header was smuggled off the line.
There was an injury stoppage as Jackson received treatment and the skipper was unable to continue, earning hearty applause as he left the action seven minutes in.
His last act was to hand the armband to Hollands as Pritchard came on in his place, and the newcomer’s first act was to win a free-kick out on the left, although Stephens’ set-piece flew harmlessly off target.
Rhodes headed across goal and off target when he might have done better for the visitors.
Murphy was booked for a foul on Pritchard and confusion reigned from the subsequent free-kick on the hour.
Kerkar swung the ball in and Morrison’s glancing header might have been going in before in hit an unwitting Wright-Phillips and looped over.
The dangerous Gomes had three bites at the cherry before blasting narrowly over the bar from the edge of the box as Rovers showed they were still very much in this game.
A low cross-shot from Martin Olsson was smothered by Hamer at his near post while Green shot over with a free-kick from 30-plus yards after Rhodes upended Cort.
David Dunn came on for Gomes on 73 minutes with Green fizzing a drive off target for the hosts moments later.
Dunn dragged an effort across goal and wide before Lowe’s challenge on Solly earned him a booking.
Cort’s spectacular volley flew over, after good Addicks pressure following a corner, and Green’s well-stuck shot on the run six minutes from time was beaten away by Robinson.
Pritchard darted to the near post to toe-end a Kerkar centre wide while Rhodes, peripheral for most of the afternoon, glanced a header from a Lowe centre past the post.
Pedersen blocked a Wright-Phillips shot on the turn late on as the hosts shouted for a penalty and after a free-kick was hooked into the box by Hollands a spectacular overhead effort from the striker was tipped over by Robinson.
An injured Kerkar made way for Evina at the death and there was scarcely time for him to break sweat as the final whistle ended proceedings at one apiece.
Charlton: Hamer; Wilson, Solly, Cort, Morrison; Green, Kerkar (Evina 90), Stephens, Jackson (Pritchard 52); Wright-Phillips.
Subs (not used): Button, Dervite, Wagstaff, Cook, Smith.
Goals: Jackson 27
Blackburn: Robinson; Orr, Olsson, Givet (Hanley 46), Dann; Lowe, Murphy, Etuhu, Pedersen; Gomes (Dunn 73), Rhodes.
Subs (not used): Kean, Ribeiro, Formica, Nunes, Rochina.
Goals: Etuhu 15
Booked: Murphy 59 (foul on Pritchard), Lowe 79 (foul on Solly)
Ref: D Deadman
Att: 17,169 (1,180 Blackburn)