George Jones reports from The Valley
José Riga’s first home match back in charge of Charlton ended all square as his side shared the points with Blackburn Rovers at The Valley.
Harry Lennon had given the Addicks the lead midway through the first half before Jordan Rhodes levelled the tie on the stroke of half time.
The result means that Charlton remain four points adrift of safety but, more importantly, ends their run of heavy defeats.
Riga made four changes to the eleven that started at Hull, with new signing Jorge Teixeira making his debut at the heart of defence.
Tony Watt, recently back from a loan spell at Cardiff City, was drafted in to play alongside Igor Vetokele up top, while Zakarya Bergdich and Morgan Fox also came into the side on the left flank.
The Addicks burst forward on six minutes when Jordan Cousins lofted possession over the top for Watt to chase. The Scot latched onto it and looked to square to strike-partner Vetokele, who was free in the middle, but his first-time cross was just too far ahead of him.
They came forward again on the 15-minute mark, and Watt was again involved. He broke down the left and sent in a cross that struck Rovers defender Shane Duffy on the arm.
Despite cries of handball from the Addicks faithful, and those in red on the pitch, the referee’s whistle was not forthcoming. Undeterred, Charlton pushed on again.
Watt skipped beyond his man and found Gudmundsson on the edge of the box. He shifted the ball onto his left foot and curled an effort over the bar.
At the other end, Corry Evans dragged a strike well wide of Stephen Henderson’s goal and a flurry of long throws from Tommy Spurr were well defended by the home side.
Bergdich won Charlton a corner on 22 minutes. Gudmundsson delivered the outswinger and Teixeira met it with a firm header that sailed over the crossbar.
Blackburn debutant Danny Graham flicked on into the direction of top scorer Jordan Rhodes just before the half-hour mark but, thankfully for Charlton, he could not control and the ball bobbled through to Henderson.
The Addicks went in front two minutes later. Gudmundsson floated a free-kick into the box that Teixeira rose to challenge for. Under pressure, Grant Hanley only managed to half clear and the ball fell for Lennon who drilled into the bottom corner, via a deflection, from 12 yards.
A teasing, Craig Conway cross evaded everyone in the box as Rovers tried to level just before the break. And, just as the clock hit 45, they did.
Henley reached the byline and delivered an excellent cross that Rhodes met with a firm header, which Henderson got a hand to but was unable to keep out.
It was cruel luck on the Addicks to would have been deserving of a half-time lead but Rhodes’ leveller meant that the two sides headed in at 1-1 at half time.
Henderson got down low to make a smart save from Graham’s header two minutes into the second half and Teixeira then got his body in the way of Hope Akpan’s shot from the edge of the box.
It was a bright start to the second period from the visitors and Duffy met Conway’s inswinging cross with a firm header that sailed wide on 50 minutes.
Charlton responded and came close to regaining their lead when Teixeira met Gudmundsson’s free-kick with a neat flick that looped over Jason Steele’s crossbar.
Duffy took aim from 30 yards on 64 minutes. His effort did no threaten the target, however.
From the Addicks’ resulting goal-kick, Fox flicked on to Gudmundsson, who, in turn, flicked on into the path of Vetokele. The striker drove into the box and, from a tight angle, unleashed a powerful strike that Steele parried away.
Watt then wriggled away from Hanley on the halfway line. Having reached the penalty area, he fed Bergdich on the left. The Moroccan returned possession to him with a fizzed pass into the middle. The chance to shoot was there for Watt but the ball got caught under his feet and Blackburn managed to clear.
The Addicks were now well in the ascendancy and were probing for a winner.
A big penalty claim went unanswered 16 minutes from time.
Solly delivered a cross from the right that clearly struck the outstretched arm of Rovers defender Hanley but the referee again waved away the appeals.
Rovers came close to edging in front five minutes when Evans threaded Rhodes in on goal. Henderson, though, raced off his line to smother at the feet of the striker.
Six minutes of stoppage tim were indicated but neither side were able to force a winner and the game ended level.
Charlton: Henderson, Solly, Teixeira, Lennon, Fox, Gudmundsson, Cousins, Jackson, Bergdich (Harriott 75), Vetokele (Ghoochannejhad 75), Watt.
Subs (not used): Pope, Johnson, Poyet, Ba, Makienok.
Goals: Lennon 30
Blackburn: Steele, Henley, Spurr, Hanley, Rhodes, Graham (Jackson 77), Taylor (Bennett 46), Akpan (Lenihan 83), Duffy, Evans, Conway.
Subs (not used): Raya, Kilgallon, Ward, Lawrence.
Goals: Rhodes 45
Booked: Duffy 90+4 (dissent)
Referee: R Lewis