LUZON LEFT LOW BY LATE LEVELLER
Ward on target to lift merry Millers
HAVING scored their first goal in five games, gutted Charlton head coach Guy Luzon admits it was a blow to see his side let victory slip on his home debut.
The Addicks have not won since November 8, but that run seemed destined to end when Jordan Cousins stabbed home with seven minutes left.
However, Danny Ward’s late equaliser ensured a share of the points for Rotherham – who remain just above the drop zone.
Luzon said: “When you lead the game five minutes from the end, of course we are disappointed.
“We organised well until the last minute. After two months without a win we sat too deep and in the last minutes they had chances to score after not having the ball all game.
“When we lead games we need to keep maintaining the same positions and don’t go too deep.
“We’ve been well organised in defence in the last two games.We knew the opponent would play a lot of long balls and we were ready for the second balls. In attack we need to be more efficient and create more chances to score.
“Of course we are lacking in confidence at the moment, especially in attack because we didn’t score a lot of goals in the last ten or 11 games.
“I hope we will recruit another two players, but we will see if we have the time. In football until it’s done it is nothing.”
Both sides hit the post inside the first 20 minutes, but otherwise strong defending, especially the excellent Craig Morgan, negated attacking play in the first half.
Rotherham struck the woodwork when Conor Newton’s scuffed half-volley rooted Marko Dmitrovic. Johann Gudmundsson went similarly close following a counter-attack.
Charlton began the second half much more sprightly. Callum Harriott exploited the space between Frazer Richardson and Kari Árnason, and Cousins occupied this area too.
Although Charlton were soon to take the lead, the half’s momentum gradually shifted with Rotherham’s introduction of three January signings – Jack Hunt, Ward and Adam Hammill.
First Hunt, a right-back by trade, helped Richardson counter Harriott and Cousins’ doublethreat, then Ward and Hammill defibrillated Rotherham’s attack.
Matt Derbyshire had a goal disallowed for offside after Ward’s pass and Ward forced Dmitrovic’s first save.
It was somewhat against the run of play therefore when Cousins scored. Gudmundsson’s shot was blocked in the box, debutant Christophe Lepoint scrambled the ball to Cousins, who stabbed it past the static Adam Collin.
But Rotherham continued their resurgence. Dmitrovic brilliantly saved Paul Green’s header and Hammill shot narrowly wide.
Eventually the deserved equaliser came as Hammill’s perfect cross was turned in by Ward, who shook off Rhoys Wiggins’ weak marking. Arnason and Morgan also deserve credit for moving the other defenders out of position.
Millers assistant-manager Paul Raynor said: “Charlton created some opportunities and they looked dangerous on the break, but we felt as though we dominated proceedings.
“We looked dangerous ourselves and as the game went on we created a number of opportunities. We’re slightly disappointed we’re not talking about three points instead of one.
“We’re down in the nitty-gritty part of the table, but we feel as though we’re much stronger in the last two or three weeks.We’ve added some real quality. We looked behind us and there’s Adam Hammill, Danny Ward, Jack Barmby.We can bring real quality onto the pitch.”
SWERVE: Charlton’s Tony Watt evades Rotherham’s Kari Arnason LEVELLER: Danny Ward celebrates scoring his side’s equaliser with Richard Smallwood and Craig Morgan