Charlton Athletic moved into the playoff places with a record-equalling 6-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night, also extending their unbeaten run to ten matches.
There were six different goalscorers on Tuesday night ranging from Jake Forster-Caskey’s opener to an own goal from the home side, whilst the returning Chuks Aneke extended his tally to 13 for the season late on, too.
Nigel Adkins made two changes from the weekend’s draw over fellow promotion-chasers Ipswich Town, resting recent mainstays Ryan Inniss and Darren Pratley.
In came forgotten midfielder and veteran Ben Watson, and he delivered a huge reminder that he can still cut it at this level, aged 35.
The former Nottingham Forest captain had not started a match under Adkins since the 56-year-old’s appointment last month, seemingly falling down the pecking order until this week.
He was at risk of becoming a truly forgotten option in midfield, especially given the red-hot form of Forster-Caskey and fellow goalscorer Alex Gilbey but in the midst of the Addicks romping home to victory, he excelled as the team’s anchorman.
Truth be told, Argyle offered very little threat, managing just two shots on target all game, in comparison to the visitor’s seven, but Watson was still there to clean up in midfield and proved to be a rock defensively.
The £5.5k-per-week star made a match-high six clearances, more than any of Adkins’ defenders on the night, only proving that the 35-year-old midfielder was key towards that clean sheet.
Watson also made more interceptions (three) than anyone else on the pitch, home or away, further suggesting that his ability to read the game and then snuff out the danger is still in his locker.
From 54 touches, he was able to find 88% of his 42 passing attempts, including 77.7% of his long balls finding a player in a red shirt. On top of that, he won two of his three battles, too, as per SofaScore.
Most importantly, he didn’t add to his ten bookings on the season, further showing signs of improvement.
Once described as “brilliant” and “important” by ex-Charlton boss Lee Bowyer, Watson’s experience could prove crucial if they do make the playoffs.
That display down in the southwest was certainly a huge message that he should be featuring more.
AND in other news, “Strong-willed” 18 y/o Addicks gem could save Sangaard a lot of money this summer….