Gary Haines reports from Selhurst Park
Chris Powell admitted Charlton’s derby defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday was tough to take.
The Valley boss saw a late double from the prolific Glenn Murray condemn his side to a 2-1 defeat at Selhurst Park after Ricardo Fuller’s sparkling early strike had nudged the bragging rights in Charlton’s favour.
Murray, a peripheral figure for the opening hour, levelled matters 15 minutes from time and a dramatic turnaround was complete when he crashed home a second before the clock reached 80.
It was the second time in as many weeks that Charlton, who created chances aplenty at the home of their local rivals, had been stung by a late sucker punch having been in firm control of proceedings for an hour.
And it left a despondent Powell to rue those wasted chances, noting: “The first half and even the first hour was some of the best stuff we’ve played, but of course you need to convert your chances when they come.
“We needed to take more than the one we got because you knew there would be a response from Palace and someone like Murray, who has been scoring goals all season, eventually got his chances and he took them.
“It’s tough to take because it’s quite easy to forget about how well we played in that first 60 minutes. It was a proper local derby and chances at both at both ends and its just a body blow for us that we didn’t come out on top.”
A moment of brilliance from Fuller gave Charlton the upper hand in SE25 as the Jamaican controlled a high channel pass from Chris Solly before drifting in from the right and shooting between the legs of Julian Speroni.
Leon Cort and Johnnie Jackson (twice) also went close as the Addicks dominated proceedings and Fuller was only denied a spectacular second by a fine tip-over from Speroni.
Had any of those chances gone in then the final outcome may have been different, something Powell agreed with before adding: “We cant talk about that now. Of course you want that and it puts you in an even stronger position because I felt we put them on the back foot and really caught them cold.
“They couldn’t really handle Ricardo Fuller and the way we broke from midfield, but you do need to take chances, even at this level. We talk about the Premier League and one chance and it is in the back of the net, but even at Championship level you do need to take the chances that arise and the chances that you make. We didn’t do that.”
The late body-blow came hot on the heels of another gut-wrenching loss against Sheffield Wednesday at The Valley a week earlier, a real case of disappointing déjà vu for a Charlton side magnificently backed by 3,091 fans at a Selhurst Park ground, some grudgingly used to call home. For the home fans it marked a first double over their former tenants for the first time wince 1989/90.
“I think it’s quite obvious how disheartening it is with regards to how it has gone in these last two games and how they panned out after being in strong positions,” he said.
“But I have just said to my group that we have got to learn from this, we really have. When you come to a place like Palace, or even when you are playing at home, all people see at five o’clock is the result, regardless of how you have played.
“So we need to start seeing games out and managing the situation when we come under a bit of pressure.
“That is always going to happen when they throw caution to the wind and you have to be able to withstand that regardless of formations or whatever.
“It is about the XI adjusting to what is happening at that moment in time. It hurts after having such a good January and then, following on from last week, it is a very similar pattern and we need to arrest that straight away.”
Listen to Chris Powell’s full post-match press conference now on CAFC Player.