BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer was hugely disappointed to see his side beaten by two goals from set-pieces in a 2-1 loss at Millwall.
Lions substitute Matt Smith brushed off a futile defensive effort from Addicks centre-half Naby Sarr to head home a 91stminute winner from Jed Wallace’s corner.
The Senegalese international was also beaten in the air by Millwall skipper Shaun Hutchinson as Gary Rowett’s side took an early lead that was cancelled by Jonathan Leko shortly after the break.
“Some of them need to have a look at themselves,” said Bowyer, who felt his side were otherwise good value to get something out of the game.
“I just told them that we can’t be conceding the way we have done there and losing the game. They will have a couple of days now to reflect and look back on what has just happened today.
“[Smith] wanted to win the ball more. Someone asked me if I thought it was a foul – no I don’t. I just think he was more hungry to win the ball. He had to defend better.
“We’ve lost this game on two set-pieces. Defending set-pieces is simple. Just make sure your man doesn’t score. For some reason, their man wanted to score more than our man wanted to defend. That’s what has cost us today.
“We told them all week that this is their strength. Millwall, this is a strength of theirs. Yeh, they’ve got some good players but they’re strong at set-pieces. We can’t tell them any more or do any more than what we’re doing. They all know their jobs inside out. It’s simple – make sure your man doesn’t score. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen today. We have to improve at that.”
“I thought we were the better side,” added the Addicks boss, as Charlton’s winless run in the South East London derby stretched to 11 games.
“Some of the football we played was very good. We took the sting out of the atmosphere, I thought. Obviously, it’s an intimidating place to come and play but I thought we handled it really well. I thought we should have won the game but games are about taking your chances and putting the ball in the back of the net. They did it twice and we only managed to do it once. We end up leaving with nothing. I would have been disappointed with a draw. When it was 1-1 I was like here we go, we’ll go on and win this. To come away with nothing, not good enough.
“I thought we played well. To be leaving with nothing, I don’t think is a fair result. I thought we were better than them. Conceding early on from a set-piece gives them a lift but I thought for the rest of the first-half we were the better side. We created a lot of good chances. The keeper made some unbelievable saves. Second-half, I thought again we started well. Again, dominated. Once we scored I thought that’s it, we’re going to go on to win the game.
“We stopped doing what got us on top, passing, for some reason. That’s so disappointing to concede that late on and the manner that we conceded. It drives me mad. It’s so frustrating and it’s just not good enough. You have to see games out. You have to make sure that your man doesn’t score. It’s very simple. Mentally and physically, we have to be better.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS