15 January 2022

Michael Duff left to rue missed chances as Charlton snatch draw at Cheltenham

15 January 2022

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff said his team “did enough to win four games” after seeing Chuks Aneke snatch a last-gasp point for Charlton in a 1-1 draw.

Dan Nlundulu opened the scoring for the Robins in the 43rd minute and they missed a host of chances to put the game beyond the Addicks’ reach at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Instead Aneke, who rejoined Charlton from Birmingham on Friday, levelled with virtually the last kick of the game to end a three-game losing run for Johnnie Jackson’s team.

Duff hailed the impact of Southampton loanee Nlundulu, who opened his account and received a standing ovation as he left the field just before Charlton’s leveller.

“Centre-forwards live for goals, but I told Dan that his standing ovation wasn’t for the goal, it was for his all-round contribution and the way he occupied their centre-halves,” Duff said.

“That’s why we brought him in and that’s what he has to do every week.

“You have to feel for the players because the performance was excellent and we did enough to win four matches.

“If we play like that for the next 20 games, we’ll be absolutely fine because Charlton are a good team and I thought we dominated the game.”

Nlundulu was making only his second start for the Robins and he followed up from close range after Callum Wright’s shot was parried by Stephen Henderson just before the break.

The home side were looking to end a run of seven games without a win against an Addicks side who had lost their last three.

Cheltenham deserved their lead, having seen Henderson pull off fine saves to deny Alfie May and Wright twice before Nlundulu’s strike.

Wright also missed from almost on the line after Sean Long knocked May’s free-kick back into the middle, while Henderson did well to deny Matty Blair in first-half stoppage time.

But Aneke had the final say as he touched Ryan Inniss’ downward header over the line from close range deep into added time.

Charlton manager Jackson admitted his side were fortunate to leave Gloucestershire with a point.

“In all honesty I didn’t think we deserved anything from the game, but it’s flipped on its head because we deserved something from our previous few games,” he said.

“I think it was a flat performance. When you look at the individual battles, they won more than us.

“We didn’t create loads but ended up nicking a point, but I want to see better performances than that.

“We have to sense danger and fear the worst and we haven’t done that for their goal when the lad tapped it in.

“If we can back that up with a win at Fleetwood that’ll be great. I believe in what I’m doing and I know the lads do.”

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