Jackson to the rescue as Charlton save a point

Charlton Athletic 1 Tranmere Rovers 1
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The Independent Football

They were showing highlights before this game from an altogether different era – one in which Charlton were in the Premier League – in August 2000. But although two divisions separate now and then, there was one similarity, namely the Addicks being top of the League.

They were at the summit 11 years ago thanks to a 4-0 win over Manchester City, but that was only the first day of the season. The 2011-12 vintage are much more entrenched at the top of League One, although they were second-best to Tranmere for long stretches and their lead at the top was cut from five points to three.

Chris Powell's men salvaged their unbeaten record thanks to a rather generous penalty with 10 minutes remaining. Before that decision, given for a foul by Zoumana Bakayogo on Danny Hollands, Charlton had not been very convincing for a team who started this season so well.

Going into the break one down, they barely showed an improvement after the interval. After 51 minutes, however, the hosts almost equalised in bizarre fashion. From a harmless cross into the Tranmere area Dave Raven volleyed the ball straight into his Rovers team-mate Ash Taylor, who knew nothing about it as the ball cannoned off his back and just past Owain Williams's post.

All the while, Powell's men looked susceptible to a counter-attack, Adam McGurk sendinghis long-range effort just overthe crossbar.

Yet salvation arrived with 13 minutes remaining. Jackson, once of Tottenham, sent Williams the wrong way from the penalty spot. It levelled matters after McGurk's first-half strike, deflected by Chris Solly, had wrong-footed Ben Hamer. Yet despite that penalty award the Tranmere manager, Les Parry, thought a draw was fair.

Parry is an entertaining character from the old school. With this match he celebrated two years in charge at Tranmere, and he has a refreshing attitude to the game as a whole, in stark contrast to many.

Thinking back to his appointment, when he replaced John Barnes, the former docker said: "I am enjoying it. I earn more than I did as a physio and it will cost them more to pay me off when I get the bullet.

"I won't die of a heart attack from the job, only from what I eat. I was looking to get out of the game when I got the job."

For his part, Powell was delighted to get out with a point. He said: "We showed some character and resilience. I'm upbeat. We're still unbeaten."

Charlton (4-4-2): Hamer; Solly, Morrison, M Taylor, Wiggins; Green (Wagstaff, 69), Stephens, Hollands, Jackson; Kermorgant, Wright-Phillips.

Tranmere (4-4-2): Williams; Raven, A Taylor, Goodison, Buchanan; Weir, Labadie, Baxter (Bakayogo, 76), Akins (Kay, 85): McGurk, Showumni (Tiryaki, 88)

Referee Darren Drysdale.

Man of the match Goodison (Tranmere).

Match rating 5/10.