Saturday’s Championship action saw West Bromwich Albion welcomed newly promoted Charlton Athletic back to The Hawthorns, and having seen Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday drop points in the early fixture, manager Slaven Bilic would’ve been looking for us to extend our gap at the top of the second tier table.
It was a bright start and Matty Phillips had given us the lead ten minutes into the game, but despite the performance, we couldn’t extend our advantage and against the run of play really Charlton had their leveller on the hour mark. Seven minutes later Nathan Ferguson was shown a straight red card and that hampered us, but Hal Robson-Kanu looked to have given us the victory and all three points as he scored in the 81st minute.
Unfortunately, again, Charlton hit back late on in stoppage time from the penalty spot, but a point keeps us at the top of the table and our two point buffer on those immediately below us remains in place.
Speaking to the BBC following the full time whistle, our Croatian gaffer said of the match.
“I asked the boys to put a stamp on the game. from the first minute. You can lose, you can win – but I’m not talking about that. We’re playing at home, they’re a young, enthusiastic team, but put a stamp on the game. We didn’t. We were winning 1-0 but we were slow, sloppy without the ball. We gave them time to have the ball. Although we had a chance for Darnell to make it 2-0 we wouldn’t have deserved it. To be fair, we were not good – we were magnificent from the start of the second half. Then they had that little spell and the red card – but we didn’t feel it, we defended really well, attacked in numbers and scored a great goal and we were managing the game quite well. That decision was beyond me – it’s not a penalty. To give that, it’s scary. The red card wasn’t blatant or malicious. Nathan is a young player and he went for the ball. He got the ball but he didn’t get enough of the ball to not give him an option.”