Charlton still firing blanks

Charlton Athletic 0 Oldham Athletic 0
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The Independent Football

Charlton missed out on the opportunity to go level on points with Leeds United at the summit but manager Phil Parkinson defended his side after they failed to score for the third League One game in succession.

A prolonged goal drought would damage the hard work they have put in so far, and after dominating this encounter they should have taken all three points. Oldham Athletic managed to hold on for a point, despite the home side hitting the crossbar on two occasions, but Parkinson remains optimistic.

"I cannot fault our attitude over the 12 games we have played," he said. "We are one of the top-scoring sides in the League and there is always going to be a period when you do not score. It was disappointing today, but this may prove to be an important point. I thought a lot of our play was good, we just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net."

Oldham were chasing a first ever win at the Valley, but there was little reason to believe that statistic would change based on the opening quarter of this encounter. The home side dominated proceedings as Nicky Bailey orchestrated play from the left side of midfield. He was unfortunate not to open the scoring eight minutes in, as he cut inside and sent an effort zipping inches wide of visiting goalkeeper Dean Brill's left-hand post.

Defender Miguel Llera was also kept at bay by Brill soon afterwards, as his long-range left-footed effort was pushed around the post.

The visiting manager, Dave Penney, spent the entire first half on his feet in the technical area, and it took until the half-hour mark for his side to take a grip on the game.

On 35 minutes, Dean Furman curled wide from the edge of the penalty area, following a period of neat passing. Charlton's Matt Spring came close before half-time, but a frustrated crowd of 16,441 headed off for the half-time interval wondering whether any goals would follow.

This was the first meeting between these sides in 12 years, and although it probably will not linger in the memory for too long, it did liven up.

Oldham took the initiative after half-time and forward Pawel Abbott had the ball in the net after 52 minutes, yet a foul in the build-up to his close-range tap-in meant the effort was ruled out.

Charlton introduced Izale McLeod on 63 minutes in an attempt to ignite their attacking threat. The forward has struggled to make an impact in south London since joining from MK Dons in 2008, and had three opportunities to score. He should have taken one of them, when he miskicked from eight yards out and the ball went wide.

Kelly Youga hit the crossbar from an overhead kick late on, but at full-time home supporters taunted the visitors with chants of "boring boring Oldham" in reference to their negative approach.

"I thought the chants were fantastic, I wish every set of home fans would sing that at us because at least it means we are doing something right," said Penney. "This is a tough place to come and we have to be happy with a point."