Olly Groome reports from The Valley
Charlton fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to in-form Rochdale at The Valley on Saturday afternoon.
Calvin Andrew’s first-half header proved to be the difference, while the Addicks were made to rue Johnnie Jackson’s missed penalty early in the second half on a hugely frustrating day in SE7.
Russell Slade made three changes to his starting XI for the Football for A Fiver fixture.
Jason Pearce was restored to the centre of defence after recovering from concussion and partnered Patrick Bauer at the back. They were flanked by full-backs Morgan Fox and Kevin Foley – the latter coming into the side in place of Chris Solly, who missed out with a knee injury.
At the other end of the pitch, Ademola Lookman also regained his place and started up top with Tuesday’s goalscorer Josh Magennis.
Skipper Johnnie Jackson, Fredrik Ulvestad Andrew Crofts and Ricky Holmes provided the support in midfield, while on the bench, Harry Lennon returned after serving his one-match suspension against Oldham Athletic.
The Addicks enjoyed most of the early possession and got away the first shot of the afternoon after 11 minutes when Lookman burst clear of the Dale defence before shooting from a tight angle, but stopper Josh Lillis was equal to it.
Moments later, the visitors earned a corner at the other end and came close when Calvin Andrew sent a header just wide of the post.
Magennis tried his luck when Charlton were awarded a free-kick some 30 yards from goal in the 19th minute. Johnnie Jackson teed up the Northern Irishman who sent a well-hit, powerful drive whistling past the left-hand upright.
But despite enjoying much the better of the opening 25 minutes, it was the hosts who fell behind against the run of play.
Joe Bunney’s cross from the left took a heavy deflection to sit up perfectly for Andrew, who sent his header past Rudd to put Keith Hill’s men in front.
The Addicks were let off nine minutes later when Joe Thompson very nearly rounded the keeper, only for Rudd to recover and make the save after a mix-up at the back.
Charlton just could not find that breakthrough in a frustrating first half in which they could not make their possession count for anything in the final third.
Russell Slade’s men needed something to kick-start their afternoon and they were give the perfect opportunity just three minutes into the restart when Holmes’ mazy run was brought to an end by Bunney’s trip in the penalty box.
Referee Robert Jones pointed to the spot and up stepped Jackson, who was looking to convert his second spotkick in seven days.
Unfortunately, Lillis guessed the right way, keeping out the skipper’s effort, while Magennis could not put away the rebound and the chance was gone.
The determined Lookman was continuing to cause trouble for the Dale defence and his angled effort was kept out my Lillis shortly after, while Jackson came inches away from getting on the end of the youngster’s pinpoint corner before the hour mark.
The 18-year-old was putting the most dents in the visiting backline and he came close again with a dipping free-kick from 25 yards before sending another shot further off target five minutes later.
Slade introduced Nicky Ajose and Lee Novak off the bench in the 64th and 71st minutes respectively, with Andrew Crofts and Magennis giving way as the Addicks desperately went in search of an equaliser.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Morgan Fox drew a fantastic save from Lillis when he directed Novak’s knockdown towards the bottom left-hand corner, only for the keeper to get down brilliantly to keep it out.
And moments later, Lookman sent another cracking effort dipping inches over the bar, while substitute Jordan Botaka fired straight at Lillis after breaking into the box.
The hosts continued to throw things forward in the dying minutes. Novak had an effort cleared away by a defender after Lillis’ punch had not had the desired effect, while a series of corners came to nothing as the murmurs of frustration echoed around The Valley.
The defeat leaves Charlton now seven league games without victory and must now wait a fortnight before returning to League One action when Coventry City visit South London on October 15th.
Charlton: Rudd, Foley, Pearce, Bauer, Fox, Crofts (Ajose 64), Ulvestad, Jackson, Holmes (Botaka 80), Lookman, Magennis (Novak 71).
Subs (not used): Phillips, Konsa, Lennon, Chicksen.
Booked: Lookman 90+3 (foul on Lund)
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, Keane, Canavan, Bunney, Allen (McDermott 56), Lund, Camps, Thompson (McGahey 90), Andrew, Davies (Odelusi 84).
Subs (not used): Logan, Rathbone, Noble-Lazarus, Morley.
Booked: Lund 39 (foul on Holmes)
Goal: Andrew 25
Referee: R. Jones
Att: 14,460 (415 from Rochdale)