Olly Groome reports from The Valley
Charlton won their first point of the season at The Valley on Saturday as Johnnie Jackson’s goal earned a 1-1 draw against Northampton Town.
The Addicks enjoyed the vast majority of the play throughout the game, but found it hard to carve out opportunities until the skipper popped up early in the second-half to cancel out Alex Revell’s first-half opener.
Russell Slade’s men were dominant throughout the second period and although they could not force the goal which would have earned a first victory of the season, there were plenty of positives to take with the visit of Shrewsbury Town coming hot on the heels on Tuesday evening.
New arrival Josh Magennis made his debut up top alongside Nicky Ajose as part of two changes made to the side which suffered a 2-0 defeat at Bury on opening day.
There was also a full league debut for 18-year-old Ezri Konsa in the centre of defence after an impressive showing on his first professional run out at Cheltenham Town in midweek.
Meanwhile, Jordan Botaka, who joined the club alongside Magennis on Thursday took his place on the bench.
The Addicks made a bright start in the South London sunshine, seeing plenty of the ball before carving out the first half-chance on 13 minutes.
Former Cobbler Ricky Holmes combined well with Chris Solly on the right before the latter delivered a chipped pass to the back stick where Johnnie Jackson saw his header well blocked.
Moments later, a fine move, this time down the left-hand side, resulted in Holmes lofting a weighted pass over the top to the advancing Morgan Fox, who stretched to lift his lob over the bar.
But just as the hosts looked to be taking control, it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play.
Revell was the scorer, nodding a header into the bottom right-hand corner from Alfie Potter’s right-wing cross.
Charlton got straight back on the ball and went in search of an equaliser.
Andrew Crofts blazed a half-volley over the bar a minute after the goal, while Holmes rounded off a run forward by firing straight at Town stopper Adam Smith from 20 yards.
Although it was the home side who were playing all the football, the visitors sent a reminder of their threat in the box on the half-hour mark when a similar move to that of their opening goal very nearly undid Charlton again.
Another cross from the right was this time diverted goalwards by the head of former Welling United star Harry Beautyman. Thankfully, this effort bounced wide and the Addicks headed into the break with a one-goal deficit.
Slade’s men started the second period on the front foot and nearly had their equaliser five minutes into the restart, but for a fine save by Smith who kept out Croft’s low, angled drive which was heading straight for the bottom right-hand corner.
Moments later, Charlton came close again through Ajose who took down a cross brilliantly on his chest, before turning and firing a shot inches wide of the post.
The hosts kept probing and on 58 minutes got the equaliser that their possession had deserved.
Ajose picked up possession and waited to pick his pass to the overlapping skipper and Jackson did what he does best, placing a first-time shot across Smith which nestled in the bottom right-hand corner of the net to pull his side right back into the game, just as he has done on so many occasions in the past.
The Addicks continued to see all of the ball and with a raucous Valley crowd urging them forward, all eyes were set on getting that all-important second goal.
Ademola Lookman was introduced on the hour in place of Kevin Foley, while Botaka emerged from the bench for his debut seven minutes later, swapping with Holmes.
Magennis had a pair of half-chances, first snatching at a shot inside the box to send it high and wide, before directing a looping header just wide from the edge of the box with 15 minutes left on the clock.
The tempo slowed down somewhat in the final quarter of the game, although Ajose stung the palms of Smith with a shot from distance on 82 minutes, while Lookman nearly caught out the keeper with a vicious drive from similar distance.
At the other end, Town never really threatened during the second half, although did have the hosts worried two minutes from time when Potter’s shot was deflected narrowly wide, before the resulting corner bounced around in the box, finally being claimed by Declan Rudd.
Deep into injury time, the Addicks were given one final chance when Lookman was chopped down 20 yards from goal. The youngster stepped up to the and hit a fantastic effort which was only kept out by the dive of Smith.
In truth, the hosts had done enough in the second-half to deserve all three points, but the Cobblers’ resilience meant that Slade’s men would have to settle for a point.
Charlton: Rudd, Solly, Konsa, Pearce, Fox, Holmes (Botaka 67), Foley (Lookman 60), Crofts, Jackson, Magennis (Novak 81), Ajose.
Subs (not used): Phillips, Bauer, Johnson, Holmes-Dennis.
Goal: Jackson 57
Northampton Town: Smith, Buchanan, Diamond, Zakuani, Revell, Gorre (Richards 71), Potter, Beautyman (Hoskins 56), Phillips, O’Toole, Taylor.
Subs (not used): Cornell, Maloney, Byram, Sonupe, Nyatanga.
Goal: Revell 16
Referee: D England
Att: 11,567 (1,283 from Northampton)