Sod’s law isn’t it, the revival curtailed by a major player in our downfall. Disappointing as it is, it could have been a lot worse. The first half was a non-event as far as Charlton were concerned, with only a few artistic touches from Burton and the offensive intent of Richardson moments to remember. In fact, scuffles not skills were the main element of the first 45. Southampton were good value for their lead, which the talented Adam Lallana gave them just before the break, and would have been further in front had Rob Elliot not stood firm.
The second half was a marked improvement. Physicality still exuded from the game, melees were seen on a regular basis but the Addicks began to get the ball down and impose themselves. Shelvey took the bull by the horns, setting up the equaliser with a terrific cross for Burton. Racon began too ooze his undoubted class and Youga, who - bar a few defensive swipes in the first-half - was excellent, hit the outside of the post after a scheming surge down the left, while a penalty probably should have been given for a foul on Sam.
Three points would have been sweet, considering who the opposing manger was, but a draw was about fair. Pardew’s men may prop up the division now but they should not be there in May. The Saints have too much experience and talent to struggle for long.
Thanks to Leeds' 0-0 draw at Southend, we still sit top of the pile and the fact we fought from a goal down to garner something is another bonus. The tasks get more gruelling with Norwich up next and Leeds, Huddersfield and MK Dons in the not too distant future. Negotiate those match-ups, and talk of promotion really can begin in earnest.