Thursday, 30 December 2010

2 Points Dropped?

Brighton & Hove Albion 1 - Charlton Athletic 1.

Before the game, I would have snatched a 1-1 draw from whoever was offering it.
(It's a  stupid concept really, though I'm sure FIFA are working on a way to organise games so their 'favourites' get results without playing).

After only a few minutes of play, everything looked rosy.

Racon had buried the ball into the Brighton net but the referee had spotted something in the build up and a penalty was given instead.

I'd like to be able to say more but unfortunately the £21 worth of 'view' made it impossible to tell what was going on.

The picture above was taken as Jackson was scoring the penalty at the other end.
Happy days soon turned to even happier days as Calderon was sent off for a strong tackle, though personally it didn't look anything more than a yellow card offence.

Anyinsah had gone off after being injured in the build up to Racon's 'goal' and Charlton sorely missed him.

We needed a forward to be strong up front and bully the Brighton defenders with his bulk and speed.
Unfortunately we got his replacement Lee Martin who was far too lightweight.

Soon the game turned into a farce for those of us watching from behind Rob Elliot's goal.

The fog was so deep, I lost sight of the ball many times.
Once that had happened, I then spent the next 20 seconds trying to find it again.
Often I had been searching in completely the wrong sector of the pitch!

I believe the referee thought he'd made an error with the sending off as he seemed very keen on 'evening up' throughout the rest of the first half.

The home crowd quickly realised there was an easy way to get a free kick.
Appeal loudly whenever a Charlton player won a tackle or header and you'd get rewarded.

I can't have been the only one who spotted this pattern.

One of the extremely 'dodgy' decisions lead directly to the Brighton equaliser.
A header was won, the crowd shouted, the free kick was given and soon the ball was looping over Rob Elliot and nestling in the back of the Charlton net.

For most of the second half, I only know what was happening in the Brighton penalty area.
The fog had returned with a vengeance.
I could just pick out Elliot's black shorts in the distance but the goal was missing.

Late on, Paul Benson had two chances to win it for Charlton.

A tap in at the far post squirmed over his foot and a header that beat the keeper was saved on the line.

It sounded like our old friend Kish had a chance for Brighton at the other end but again, I couldn't see it.

Two points dropped? Maybe.
Were we happy to get a point at the league leaders home?
You bet.

A Casual Rating
The view gets a minus score, if that is possible.
 Jackson wins the Lacoste polo shirt for being brave enough to whack in the penalty, despite missing his last effort at Brentford.
I don't feel qualified to offer the Primark novelty slogan tee shirt this time as I missed most of the action due to the fog.

Ref Watch.
Is it possible to win a penalty and have one of the opposition sent off and still believe the referee is a complete and utter homer?
In this case, I'm sorry to say it was.

Monday, 27 December 2010


  It seems ages and ages since I last saw Charlton play.

Brentford away in the Johnny Paintdrying Cup, (14th December), was our last get together on a cold and ultimately success free evening.

Had I known then when I returned home, that I could well have just seen our last game of 2010 I'd have been amazed.

I'm due to be at Brighton later this week but I really can't see the, (ahem), 'facilities' of the Withdean holding up to another drop in temperatures.

Yesterday I'm sure the game could have gone ahead.
Everybody except referee Andy D'Urso seemed to believe the pitch was playable.

However, the game was off, only about 40 minutes before the scheduled kick off.

For me, this was little more than annoying as I'm a local but for the Saints fans who had made the (public transport free) trek and our supporters from far flung Kent and beyond it must have been bitterly disappointing.

I'm sure there was a resounding chorus of 'Bum!' from many who had given up family days to be at the Valley.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Britain Closes Down.

It's the second day of Operation Veg Out.

Yesterday, our world went white again, leaving only the most foolhardy outside for anything other than leisure activities.

On a brief walk, I witnessed 2 car accidents which only consolidated my decision to stay close to home.

The buzz word just now is 'treacherous', be it describing the paths for pedestrians or the roads for drivers.

Of course, everywhere does look beautiful.
This was Saturday morning:

This was Saturday evening:
I've been using my time quite unwisely by holding my own private film festival.
Yesterday was Chevy Chase Day.

Today I intend to have my annual chuckle at National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, even if it's just for this toe curling moment.

Whatever you end up doing, keep safe and take it easy. 

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Wedding Present @ KoKo.

I'm now on the North Greenwich bound train, having spent a fantastic evening revisiting the depths of my record collection.

Tonight I was at Koko, formerly the Camden Palace, for an evening of anti X Factor.

I was there for a sold out show by the Wedding Present.
 At one stage they looked to be heading for a massive career, until people like me climbed onto the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays baggy trip and then onto the sound of Seattle 'grunge', making them seem like yesterdays men.

They never changed though.
Their unique brand of heart felt love songs with jangly guitars was always going to be good enough to have a devoted following, if not too much mainstream success.
My own favourite album of theirs, 'George Best', still sounds as fresh today as it did in 1987.

The current tour is remembering the album 'Bizarro', (pictured above), 21 years old in 2010.
Tonight, they played all of the tracks, in order.

If you were a student in the late 80's, it's highly likely you would have heard 'Brassneck' or 'Kennedy', both of which were fairly big hits.

They were often played at ear splitting volume at the JSU bar, Cardiff, around that period and I assume other student places around the country were the same.
As the best known tracks, they got the biggest cheer but my own personal highlight was Take Me.
Take Me, in my opinion is what the Wedding Present are all about.

In other words, never mind what anybody else thinks, we are going to record a nine minute (plus) tune, that goes off for a five minute wig out of fast paced strumming, drumming and humming.

I'm not ashamed to say I lost myself in my own little nirvana, (not them), while Take Me was played.

An added bonus, and it really was a bonus as I already had my ticket when they were added to the bill, was The Primitives playing a supporting set.

I saw them around the time of their 'Lovely' album, 1988, and instantly fell in love with their blonde bombshell singer Tracy Tracy.
Even if you don't know The Primitives, you'll probably know their big hit 'Crash' as it's been covered by countless other, (weaker) acts.

The Primitives were fairly tight but it was the Weddoes we were there for.

Their leader, David Gedge, remains a hero to a certain kind of man, (me), and I'm already looking forward to the next time.

I'm sure DG would find it amusing to know I once had a hamster called 'Gedge'.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Pony Express.

Charlton Athletic 0 - Walsall 1.

Charlton weren't even at the races today.

I'm struggling to think of a single player wearing red who managed to come away from today's game with a little bit of credit.

I'm settling on a player who was wearing pink, goalkeeper Rob Elliott, who managed to at least keep our hopes alive when he repelled a 1:1 chance late on.

Ultimately, it was completely 'pony' from our boys.

As ever, when playing the teams at the bottom, Charlton managed to blur the quality line so successfully a random viewer would never have guessed we weren't the team struggling at the basement.

What a random viewer would have been doing at todays snore fest I've no idea but you get my point.

A poor crowd treated to a poor game on a poor day for football, (cold, Sunday, near Christmas etc. etc.)

Luckily, we have the chance to get back on that winning train on Tuesday evening.

It can't possibly be as bad as today but even if it is, I hope our supporters get behind the team rather than booing.

After ten games without defeat the team know we can cheer when things are going well. They need us even more when things aren't quite so rosy.

A Casual Rating.
The poorest of poor team performances.
We weren't out thought tactically, just outplayed by a team who seemed to sense it was their day.
Nobody is getting the Lacoste polo shirt this time.
I assume the entire team will be wearing the dreaded Primark novelty slogan tee shirts at training tomorrow morning.

Ref Watch.
Nothing to report here.
He seemed to keep up with play and even the most fanatical Charlton supporter would find it impossible to blame the officials for the result.

We did enjoy watching the East stand lino's Man Boobs swaying as he ran.
It was that kind of afternoon.

See you at Brentford for, we hope, a much better performance.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

But is it Art?

Today, as the Charlton game at Rochdale was a victim of the weather, I stepped outside and went for a Saturday afternoon walk.

Saturdays at this time of year are usually either spent inside football grounds or with the aural company of the fragrant 'Emma' from BBC London.

Today, I went on a bit of a wander and ended up at Borough Market.

After polishing off my coffee from Monmouth, I walked over Southwark Bridge and headed towards the Tower to watch the Christmas skaters before ambling back to London Bridge.

While waiting for the Greenwich bound train, another train heading towards Crayford went past on the same line.

Suddenly, I was mentally back in 1985 and grabbing my iPhone, (obviously some things have moved on since then), to take pictures.

Unfortunately, I missed the best carriages as there were too many people on the platform but I couldn't help myself from getting excited about the 'burners'.

Twenty five years ago, I was a little obsessed with graffiti art.

Somewhere, I'm not sure where now, there are photograph albums rammed with pictures I took in the period from around 1984 up to around 1989 when I 'grew out of it'.

I spent what in retrospect was foolish amounts of time in areas of town where being a young kid with a camera was asking for trouble.

I used to regularly go under the Westway, West London to check up on the weekly developments sprayed there.

Westbourne Park was another place I visited, as was nearby Ladbrooke Grove.

The massive turning point for me was the huge wooden boards erected by the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden piazza around that time, where a group had been asked to 'do their stuff'.

For the first time, I was able to look at the work without fearing somebody was going to ask me what I was up to.
It was a popular tourist place and many people had cameras.

Soon I was spending as much time as I could there, watching the Breakdancers and getting to know some of the faces that went with the names I'd seen tagged around. They wouldn't have known me but I knew who they were.
It made me feel as if I was 'in' on something Joe Public didn't understand.

My own feeble attempts at getting involved were truly pathetic.

For one of my 'O' level art pieces of coursework, I made a large brick wall on canvas and copied a poster advertising lipstick, which I stuck on top.
 I then peeled off the 'poster,' leaving only bits of it behind and covered the whole thing with my own versions of the images I'd learned to draw by heart on the back of my maths books.

I wasn't very popular when I stunk out the art studio with my aerosol paints.

Due to an extreme case of lily liver, I was never tempted to try on walls or other public spaces.

I remember being quite thrilled when watching the Lenny Henry show and recognising the art work of a group called The Chrome Angelz being used as his backdrop for his standup.
TCA were, to my mind, the best of the best.
My first trip to Paris included an afternoon traipsing around some run down blocks in the area called Stalingrad, searching for some pieces painted by them that I'd seen in a magazine!

I'm now a fully paid up member of the 'grown ups' but I still appreciate when artists have been skillful in public.
I'm not a fan of people making a mess and just scrawling their names but colourful or witty work still gives me joy.

Recently, I heard about a piece stencilled onto the side of The Greenwich Hotel so I went to visit it, wondering if it was a 'real' Banksy, or just 'in the style of '.
What do you think?

I'd like to thank whoever sprayed the train today.
I'm sure there'll be lots of hand wringing about private or public property being damaged and I'd agree 100% that it's not the way forward.

Having said that, it did give me lots of pleasure.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

England Not Corrupt Enough For FIFA.

England failed to land the 2018 World Cup this afternoon.

Despite having what was universally agreed to be the best existing set up, the best bid and the most high profile dignitaries, England United only attracted 2 votes, one of which was their own.

Many will blame the BBC for their hounding of FIFA members at a critical time.
The Sunday Times were also very keen for the same shady individuals to account for quite dubious practices.

Personally, I believe in a free press and shysters should be highlighted, even if we are wanting something from them.

It's fairly obvious FIFA aren't even remotely bothered about corruption or they wouldn't have handed the event to Russia.

It's highly likely now that the only major football tournament England will host in my lifetime will be Euro '96.
I'm now so glad I enjoyed that one and managed to witness the win over the Netherlands at (old) Wembley.

Sod you FIFA. 
I hope as much money as possible, (and our country raises millions and millions from football), now goes directly to charities, needy causes and grass roots projects and bypasses your greasy palms.

I can't wait for the next time Sepp Blatter arrives on these shores.
A warm reception?
You bet.

The final word comes from my friend Adam, who sent me his thoughts when he found out Qatar got the nod for hosting the 2022 World Cup.

 Glad to see a nation with a great footballing pedigree like Qatar get the finals in 2022. I think most people would agree their sporting heritage earns them the right to stage a finals and that it's got nothing to do with having vast sums of money. 

Monday, 29 November 2010

On Strike.

The Tube Strike today in London has been a bit of a pain in the rear.

I don't actually make my way to work by tube but I was inconvenienced this morning by the overflow of extra traffic.

I must have been busy listening to Steve Brown, (being interviewed on Charlton Live last night), when the memo went around, stating the preferred route to work for disgruntled tube passengers was to go past my house by car.

It was SOOO busy.

It's always when you are running late isn't it?
I have decided to enter into the spirit of the times and have a bit of a strike myself.

I'm going to withdraw my support for Charlton Athletic when they take on Luton Town, at their place, on December 9th for the replay of the 2nd round F.A. Cup tie.

There. I've said it.

That'll show them.

Luton have offered Charlton 1500 tickets.
They also know that 500 would probably be enough.
Kenilworth Road is hardly the Camp Nou and unlikely to get many Addicks licking their lips in anticipation.

To try to make up for the lack of supporters, Luton have upped their prices to £12.

I for one am not prepared to put up with this kind of crushing of the common man.

I'm out!

This decision is a decision based on principle.

NO WAY is it connected to the fact I can sit in the warmth, on my own sofa, without the need to rush out of work and I can catch the game live on ESPN.

Sometimes you just have to make a stand.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Hats Off To Luton.

Charlton Athletic 2 - Luton Town 2.

As barely anyone could be bothered to turn up for our encounter with Luton yesterday, I decided I would carry on in the same vein and not bother with a report.

I went on a mini pub crawl through Greenwich and Blackheath last night, enjoying 'warming whiskies' en route, then stayed up until 5am being entranced by the Ashes series from Australia.

Needless to say, Sunday didn't really start until way after lunchtime.

If you were at The Valley, you know what happened.

If you weren't there, it was a typical Charlton FA cup performance with the added ingredient of leaving the ground looking and feeling like Ranulph Fiennes after one of his more arduous polar trips.

Paint Drying Cup aside, we have looked less than convincing in cup games this year, (as ever).
We have needed two attempts to beat the team at the very bottom of the football league and now a team below that.

Well done to Luton.
They brought just over 2,800 supporters who really got behind their team.
Their players responded and despite our squad being easily good enough to see off Luton, things just didn't quite click.

This evening we found out we would have been heading for White Hart Lane in the next round.
We still may of course but our jinx in the cups means Luton are probably thinking they have a really good chance of a day out in North London.

A Casual Rating
Cold, Cold, Cold.
(2x Bovril, 1x Mocha coffee were needed at half time or I think we'd have gone home.)

The Lacoste polo is going to the Luton supporters who turned up in numbers and tried to make an event of it.
We, in contrast, really couldn't be bothered in the stands or on the pitch.

It might have only been a game against Luton, in a competition we were never going to win, (even when we were in the Premiership), but I'd have liked to have seen a bit 'more'.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to the 'person' who took exception to our level of support for the Mighty Reds.
We were chastised for..... well nothing at all actually, which made the whole situation really quite laughable.
He was extremely lucky it was us sitting near him as we were in quite a jolly mood.
Some people wouldn't have been quite so laid back about the accusations and he'd have been carrying his molars and incisors home in a carrier bag.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Pirates Steal A Point

Charlton Athletic 1 - Bristol Rovers 1.

The Pirates of Bristol were most fortunate to escape South East London with a point this evening.

The Addicks were in control for most of the first half and did everything but score.
There were some missed opportunities and errant final balls but the main reason Charlton didn't return to the changing rooms at half time, at least a couple of goals up, was the superlative Bristol goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen.

The second half was much the same.
Charlton pressed for the opening goal but it was Rovers who broke the deadlock.
Wayne Brown shot from distance, hard and straight.
Possibly Rob Elliott was unsighted as he seemed to move late to stop the long shot.
It settled in the net and momentarily the Addick's heads dropped.

Charlton rapidly returned to plugging away but it seemed Andersen was not going to be beaten.

Eventually, Kyel Reid smashed a low, powerful cross into the six yard box and the ball ended up in the Bristol net.
It looked to have cannoned in off Paul Benson but the Valley announcer credited Kyel Reid.
There were looks of amazement all round but frankly we were just happy to have reached parity, whoever had scored the goal.

Charlton really went for it, trying to grab another late winner but Andersen had other ideas.
I was already up and out of my seat when an Alan McCormack rocket shot left his boot but yet again, Andersen stuck out an arm to deny.

The final chance was gone and the run of league wins has ended, (though still no losses since the seminal Brighton game).

Casual Rating
This game should most certainly have been won but wasn't. On Saturday a draw would have been fair yet we won.
it was an open game and though it wasn't a classic, it was enjoyable on a cold, miserable night.

The Lacoste polo shirt is going to the Bristol 'keeper Andersen. He wasn't quite up to the standards of Rob Elliott last week against Barnet but he did shape the game.
He earned the visitors a point by doing his job admirably.

Both teams played the game in a good spirit so no Primark novelty slogan tee shirt this time.

The referee, though seemingly not fussed in the slightest by the infuriating Rovers time wasting, had a game where he didn't really have to do much.
He therefore avoids any potential wrath from me.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Gloved Up.

Charlton Athletic 3 - Glovers 2.

Yesterday there was a special offer running at the Valley.
Season ticket holders were able to bring a couple of mates along for the princely sum of a tenner a pop.

I was impressed with the success of the scheme when we arrived at the entrance to the East Stand. There were the longest queues of expectant supporters since the heady days of the Premiership.

Unfortunately, the truth was less dramatic.
Only 2 turnstiles were open and the pushing crowds were getting restless.

I have no idea how many people came to the Valley yesterday who would normally have been elsewhere but what would they have witnessed?

As it turns out, the game turned out to be a bit of a cracker for those often mentioned 'neutrals'.

We had a visiting side who showed no indications of being in the drop zone. They brought the game to Charlton and looked dangerous going forwards. I was impressed with their commitment.

We had a couple of leaky defences. Both sides looked likely to concede which gave the game an edge of wondering what was going to happen next.

We had a couple of sendings off and a penalty which ultimately decided the encounter, along with 4 other goals, one of which was an absolute peach of an own goal.

We also had (another) set of completely incompetent officials.

It might not have been an absolute classic yesterday but by my reckoning, it was surely worth £10.

Today has been a day of wondering if Christian Dailly is going to be the subject of an appeal against the red card he received yesterday.

 He got an early bath for using his elbow but at the time I really didn't see it. I was convinced it was a clash of heads but after seeing the pictures on television it doesn't look good for CD.

Hopefully there'll be another camera angle to back up the kind words from Yeovil's Skiverton, who believes that the clash of heads theory is closest to the truth.

Johnnie Jackson has now taken over as top scorer after grabbing two goals yesterday.
His late, winning, penalty was an absolute screamer, blasting past the keeper who managed to get a touch on it.

Racon scored another fantastic goal. His good footwork making the space so he could send the ball into the far corner across the goalkeeper.

Charlton managed to stun the crowd by failing to deal with a miss hit free kick, then Gary Doherty sent the ball rasping into the top of Elliott's goal. As a forward, it would have been a finish to remember but as a defender it was a real head in hands moment.

All in all, a scrappy game with moments of high drama and a few moments of genuine skill.
The ball did spend rather a lot of time in the air as the teams hoofed it rather than played it out of trouble.
The contrast couldn't have been greater when compared to the passing game we had witnessed in the Rose of Denmark before heading to the Valley. (The North London Derby).

If I wasn't a regular anyway, I'm not sure the experience would have had me rushing to the ticket office for more of the same but it also wouldn't have put me off.

Casual Rating
In the circumstances, the reported crowd of just 15,184 was very poor but Yeovil didn't bring very many supporters to boost the figures.
 Those Glovers who did come along would probably have been very disappointed they didn't leave with at least a point. When we went down to ten men, I most certainly would have considered a draw to be an acceptable ending.
The Lacoste polo is being awarded to Johnnie Jackson - two goals scored in each of the last two games is a tremendous haul. Keep it up JJ.
This week I'm combining the Primark novelty slogan tee shirt award and 'Ref Watch'.
Oh dear, oh dear.
Tier 3 has been a real eye opener with regards duff officials but yesterday was another low point.
Dean Whitestone from Northampton, Come On Down!
Our first goal came from an award of a throw in that was an error.
 Robbie Elliott cleared from defence and the ball went straight out, possibly glancing off Benson's head. 
Oddly, Charlton were awarded the throw, which of course, we scored from.
Yeovil were, rightly, incandescent with rage.

From then on, you can be sure that if there was an opportunity to make a hash of it, our officials grabbed the chance with both hands.

The sending off of Dailly seemed harsh but there were countless, and I mean countless, other less meaningful decisions that weren't just debatable, they were cast iron wrong.

The winning goal, coming from a penalty was very pleasing but I was less than convinced at the time with Akpo's Tom Daley impression, (thanks Crispy), the reason for the award.

A soft penalty but as I said, pleasing nevertheless.

So, unbeaten in 8 games (in all competitions) since Brighton back on the 16th October. Of those 8 games, 7 have been won.

Can we keep the run going when The Pirates arrive on Tuesday?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Charlton sneak past Barnet

Charlton Athletic 1 -  Barnet 0..

A poor crowd of just over 4,800 came to The Valley, hoping for more of the same heroics as last Saturday.

As it turned out, Charlton scraped through against a spirited and well organised Barnet side.

The prospect of going to The Valley this evening did not fill me with joy.
It was cold, damp and I was hungry.

I sat in the living room with a large coffee until only 15 minutes to kick off.
A game against Barnet was hardly a mouth watering prospect.

Perhaps I should stay at home?

With a mild utterance of "sod it" I pulled on my coat, hat, scarf and Timberlands and made for The Valley.
I already had my ticket after all.

In the first half, Charlton were much the better side and Kyel Reid scored a fantastic individual goal.
However, despite Charlton stroking the ball about, Rob Elliott had to be really on his game more than once. A one handed 'strong wrist' save in particular was terrific.

At half time I was so chilly I bought a Bovril. (There wasn't much of a queue).

I burned the inside of my mouth which put me in a bad mood for the second half.
Even without the oral mishap, the second half was a completely different affair.

Rob Elliott had to really show his worth. On another night, Charlton would have been soundly beaten but tonight Rob seemed invincible.

Charlton never really looked like scoring in the second half but Barnet most certainly did.
Our old 'friend' Izale McLeod came on as a late substitute for Barnet which left me feeling certain he would score.
However, I'd forgotten how crud he is and other than a couple of attempted 'pass and moves' he didn't show much.

It most certainly was a relief when the final whistle was blown.
Our referee had not made friends, especially in the second half when he gave some rather strange looking yellow cards for what was universally reported near me as, 'not much'.

I look forward to finding out tomorrow who we will be playing in the next round.

Casual Rating
The Lacoste polo has to go to Robbie Elliott. He was as good as I've ever seen him tonight. Well done Robbie.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to Izale Mcleod. He really is pony isn't he?
I feel he has found his level at Barnet in League 2.

I can't believe he was bought to try to push us back to the Premier League.
That is not his fault I know but tonight he did try a few of those sneaky trips over his own leg that we know sometimes con referees into penalties.

Bring on Round 2.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Oh My God I Can't Believe It, We've Never Been This Good Away From Home!

Posh 1- Charlton Athletic 5.

Nothing more to add.
Life is full of 'ups & downs'.
This was certainly an 'up'.

A perfect afternoon, (other than the CAFCplayer service giving us a second opportunity to honour our war dead, with a further minute of silence.)
It was a shame the extra silence was while our first penalty of the season was being taken but Emma let us know soon enough that we were 1-0 up after the short break.

1-0 soon became 4-0.
A slight wobble made the score 4-1, before Peterborough completely imploded for a full time score of 5-1.


Stop reading this and go out and celebrate.

Casual Rating.
Everyone- players, staff and fans can have a Lacoste polo!

Life is too short to moan after days like these.

(Sing along)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Seaside Special.

Southend United 0 - Charlton Athletic 1.

Our heroes have now made it through to the Southern Section, Semi Final of the Paint Drying Cup.


Strangely, the further we progress in the competition, the less I feel inclined to mock it.

Another win and I'll be straight down to Wicks to get me some paint for the living room.

I listened in on the CAFCplayer service where Big Dave Lockwood was passing judgement on proceedings along with some other feller who shared a pwesenting style with Jonathon Woss.

We all know that Dave didn't go on to make some prank telephone calls to Andrew Sachs after the game, (with his new mate), as we were treated to them both discussing their travel arrangements home, soon after the final whistle.
I was pleased Dave was offered a lift and that they didn't mind waiting for him!

The game itself didn't sound as if it was a classic but there was a fair amount of noise coming from over 1000 Addicks who had made the journey into Essex.

BDL seemed to know more about the Charlton side than his co- host but both went into raptures when 'Semedo' scored.

Those of us listening in, soon smelled a rat as the twitterers inside the ground were commenting on the tremendous strike by Racon and Sky Sports was also giving the goal to Racon / Wackan.

The second half wasn't as comfortable listening as the first.

Southend came more into the game and it did sound as if we were possibly lucky not to lose Semedo for a second yellow card, as well as the referee denying 2 fairly good shouts for Southend penalties.

We have had some awful luck with officials this year so maybe this was one of those 'evening out' games the pundits are so fond of telling us about.

Well done to the team and Parky.

A Casual Rating.

Ref Watch: As I've hinted above, from the sound of it, Southend were unfortunate with some of the official's decisions.
At one stage it did seem as if the referee was going to send Semedo off for the second time this season, (He also sent him off against Bournemouth). He was let off with a finger wag and Parky swapped him within minutes as the next tackle he made was bound to be the start of a long walk towards the Imperial Leather in the changing rooms.

The Lacoste polo is going to Robbie Elliott as he sounded to be fairly busy, especially late on. Another clean sheet must do wonders for the confidence in the defence.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is staying in the cupboard this time.
It would seem churlish to single anybody out after a win, especially when in a cup competition, it's all about the result.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Drop Out.

I have a meeting tomorrow evening which I can't get out of so I won't be at Southend.

Last year, Southend away was one of my favourite games.

I hope those who can make it have an enjoyable time, the team win and give a confidence raising performance to take to Peterborough.

For all we mock the Paint Drying Cup, it is our only realistic opportunity of winning any silverware this season, though I'd much rather we managed promotion.


Sunday, 7 November 2010

Underwhelmed at Underhill.

 Barnet FC. 0 - Charlton Athletic 0.

The trek up the Northern line was hardly a chore.

Upon exiting High Barnet tube station, my first impression was the area seemed far too pleasant to be hosting a football match.

Ex blogger Frankie Valley had arrived in Hertfordshire without a ticket so we sauntered over to the Barnet FC club shop to purchase one from a really cheery old fellow.

While there, we made use of the 'facilities', a tea bar that also sold bacon and sausage sandwiches.
For any fans of Danny Baker and his Sausage Sandwich Game, (get well soon Danny), I had brown sauce on my sausage sandwich. (Aye, Aye).

The famous sloping pitch at Underhill was perhaps more suited to the nursery slopes at Chamonix than a decent game of football but the surface looked impeccable.
Frankie commented that he'd spent a fortune on his own garden yet he couldn't get it anything like the impressive greenery on show. How ever do teams in League 2 afford to have such good pitches?

A prat in a moron hat was running about, goading the Barnet supporters before kick off from the safety of the Charlton enclosure. If one of our own supporters had taken a pop at him he'd only have had himself to blame for the embarrassment caused. (Not that I condone violence of course).

The teams came out to the ripping guitar of Guns 'N Roses. It felt as if there were more Charlton fans inside than home supporters. If not, there can't have been much in it.

Anybody who has seen more than 8 or 9 Charlton games would have experienced the team totally dominating but failing to score, then having to hang on to avoid defeat as the game heads towards the final few minutes.

There's no need to add much more than that, the game stuck to the well thumbed script.

Jackson should have scored when he sent the ball across the goal, narrowly missing the far corner but Waggy was very annoyed he hadn't squared it to him, for an easy tap in.
Abbott hit the crossbar and Benson had a few good chances but after around an hour, it never felt as if it was ever going to be anything other than a 0-0 draw, though Elliott had to be alert in the final few minutes.

Personal highlights?
1. Watching a game in the company of F.V is always a pleasure.
2. The ironic chant of "Dirty Northern B******s" made me chuckle.

The game fizzled out with relief all round that we'd not been shamed like last year at Northwich.

Back onto the Northern Line to discuss football, travel, the general crapness of X-Factor, films, Dr. Feelgood albums etc.

I jumped out at London Bridge to visit my present number one in my permanent quest for The Best Coffee In The World.
Only 15 minutes later I was back on the train home.

A quick snack then a I headed off to Blackheath, on foot, for the fireworks.
Thanks Lewisham, they were fantastic.
Greenwich council, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Casual Rating

Ref watch: I felt the referee had a good game. There was nothing I noticed that changed the game for either side.

The Lacoste polo is going to Grant Basey. I know he's now wearing a Barnet shirt but I think he had one of the best games I've ever seen him play.
He's never been the quickest but he seemed to have gained a little bit of pace. He also looked a little slimmer than I remember.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to:
 a) The prat in the tall, floppy, red and white hat who thought everyone would be impressed with posturing from behind a fence and burly security.
b) Whoever thought it was a good idea to use an orange ball. It was probably part of some FA stuffed suit diktat but it actually made the ball more difficult to follow in the late evening sunshine.
Orange ball = Snow.
End of.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

3 In A Row.

Swindon Town 0 - Charlton Athletic 3.

How long ago that rather embarrassing spanking, at home, by high flying Brighton seems now.

Tonight, Charlton won their third game 'on the spin' as the pundits say.
Nine points from nine, (or nine points from twelve if we include the Brighton game), has sent most Addicks into a far more positive place when concerning the way our season is heading.

An early strike from Jackson was the club's 5000th league goal but it was Joe Anyinsah's header that really looked to have put Charlton in command, only six minutes after the restart.

Paul Benson continued his rich vein with the wrapping up goal on 74 minutes.
There was no chance of blowing it this time from a 3-0 position and Charlton ran out worthy winners.

There's now a break for Cup Action before the visit to Peterborough.

I'm really looking forward to Barnet now.
I've no idea how many people will be travelling from South London but it's sure to be more than the 429 who braved travel chaos in London to head to Swindon tonight.

Well done to all who made the trip and I hope your journey home isn't too awful.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Well Satisfied.

Charlton Athletic 1 - Sheffield Wednesday 0.

Walking back down Floyd Road after yesterday's game, Crispy and I remarked how different it felt from our previous trudge along the same route.

After the Brighton game, (or while it was still going on in truth), we really were rather down in the dumps.

On that day, it felt as if we were looking over a rather high precipice, fearful of tipping onto a free fall journey of no return.

We'd been given a rather harsh spanking by Brighton and we had some tough games coming up. It didn't look good.

Just 14 days later, Charlton have won away at Carlisle and beaten a highly fancied Sheffield Wednesday at the Valley.
A six points from nine haul, with the loss coming against the run away league leaders suddenly doesn't seem too tardy. As an added extra, we've now scraped into the final Play Off place, not that it means anything at all at this stage in the season.

It does seem rather incredible that Charlton have had a rather disappointing season so far, yet still nestle in the top six. Definitely a position to push on from.

Yesterday was a good day.

Waggy will get the headlines for his goal but it was the best team performance I've seen from our side in ages.
Semedo and Racon looked involved and creative rather than just hoping to nullify the opposition, Benson was moving into space with ease and wriggling into potential scoring positions, Jackson was finding his pass and move game again and the defence, (though very short of pace), seemed able to cover most of the dangerous situations.

Then there was Joe.

Joe Anyinsah was amazing. Without resorting too much to hyperbole, he was just too good for the opposition. He was everywhere, making a mischief of himself and a constant thorn in the side of the Wednesday defence.

I thoroughly enjoyed the game.
Wednesday brought a large, good natured and loud following, reminding us that like Charlton, they have been out of the limelight for a few years but they retain the 'Big Club' label that we never really had, even when knocking about in the Premiership.

Nicky Weaver kept the score respectable from a Wednesday perspective, making three fantastic first half
saves. He was always likely to play well at the home of his old employers. He looked a lot 'trimmer' than when we were seeing him each week.

So, full marks to Parky and his team. The knives were out and being sharpened but the two wins have now placed them back in the kitchen drawer.

The team are by no means the finished article but I do find it interesting that only a few weeks ago, we all thought our only way of playing well was Kyel Reid pumping in early ball crosses.

Reid getting injured looked to be a catastrophe. Since his absence, our team have got maximum points.

Who knew?

Casual Rating
As ever, my usual 'ref watch' threw up some annoying moments.

Semedo was yellow carded when the Wednesday player trailed his leg, making sure that Jose made contact. It was annoying as Wednesday had obviously done their homework; get Semedo carded and he'd be a weaker force. It was also annoying as far harsher challenges had been made earlier on Wagstaff but the referee had merely given a free kick at worst.

Lee Martin was booked for diving in the area. It did look fairly theatrical but it was difficult to tell what had happened from my angle. Perhaps the yellow was justified.

Strangely, when Clinton Morrison threw himself to the ground in an almost laughable attempt to win a penalty and salvage a point, our ref just waved play on.

Anyway, luckily the referee didn't cost us this week and in general, he had a fairly good game, tightening up on the second half attempts to send Waggstaff into the West stand crowd.

The Lacoste Polo is going to Joe Anyinsah.
Well done Joe.
 Speed allied with a decent first touch and the never say die attitude of a player who kept going, even when surrounded by three defenders all snapping at his ankles made him a joy to watch.
Wednesday must have sighed with relief when he was substituted late on.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to our ex neighbour, 'Billy Big Balls' Clinton Morrison. On the day his ex mates at Crystal Palace fell to the bottom of the Championship, he showed all of his worst sides.
Diving to hopefully win a dubious penalty, arguing with the linesman, arguing with the ref, having to be dragged away from Semedo after trying to get him sent off and finally, for wearing the most ridiculous custard colour boots.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

What A Ride!

Carlisle United 3 - Charlton Athletic 4 (FOUR!!!) 

Well, what a game eh?
With apologies to any local theme parks, cycle hire businesses or 'ladies of the night', there was only one ride worth having in Cumbria yesterday.
What a topsy- turvy afternoon.

Having a bad case of man flu, I was confined to bed with only a MacBook Pro for company.
As the time approached 3pm, I logged onto CAFC player.

Imagine my excitement when I found the commentary from Crystal Palace's visit to Preston was coming through the speakers instead of news from Brunton Park.

Eventually, all was sorted but it did take me a while to work out if the commentator was 'ours' or not, due to his Northern accent.

The afternoon went something like this.

23 minutes, Jackson scored.

38 minutes, Anyinsah scored.

47 minutes, Benson scored.
Easy, Easy!!

58 minutes, Grella scored.
Hmm. Consolation goal?

61 minutes, Curren scored.
Bit worried now.

77 minutes, Madine scored.
Oh, ****! 
Typical sodding Charlton.

Parky won't survive this.
How can we lose a 3 goal lead?
What a long way to go for our loyal supporters, only to have the team collapse.


90 +2 minutes, Benson scored.
Suddenly we love Charlton again and everyone is elated.

The result won't have dampened down any of the 'Parky Out' brigade.
They'll choose to highlight the 3 goal cushion that was snatched away.

Parky will remind everyone that his team scored 4 goals, away from home, won 3 points somewhere we lost last season and the player he chased all Summer ended up being the match winner.

Much will depend on our home game against Sheffield Wednesday next weekend.
A strong performance in front of our own supporters might ease Parky's journey into November.

A collapse and the knives will be sharpened by many.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now

Charlton Athletic 0 - Brighton & Hove Albion 4.

 We all learned something yesterday.

I learned I have a tipping point.

I reached it yesterday when Crispy and myself joined the thousands of glum looking faces, streaming onto Floyd Road while the game was still going on, (though of course, the game had been up for quite some time).

Until yesterday I didn't realise I could attach a number to my Charlton misery.

The number is 4.

As a general rule, I don't leave Charlton games early, preferring to hang on until the bitter end.

Back in December 2006, (is it really such a short time ago?) a Charlton team under the stewardship of Les Reed crashed to a 5-1 defeat at the Lane.
I headed back down Tottenham High Road soon after their 5th goal settled in our net.

Last season, I was part of the mass exodus, except we couldn't exit, at the home of our genteel neighbours Millwall.
It was the 4th goal that prompted me to move on.

I now know that I'm prepared to stay until there is a 4 goal deficit.

It hasn't always been like this.
I stayed until the final whistle when Leeds United hammered us 6-1 at home back in 2003 and also when Manchester United knocked 4 past us at the The Valley, without reply, in 2005.

Perhaps as I've got older I'm less inclined to put up with the crap?

I would say that something died inside me the day I found myself leaving Spurs early.
A point had been reached and I'd decided to cross it.
I could never go back.

So, I learned something personal but did Charlton Athletic learn anything from yesterday's debacle?

Probably not.
We learned we aren't good enough but we don't look like we know what to do about it.

I've slept on it after having a few pints of 'cheer up juice' in one of my favourite pubs but the sad fact remains.

We were outplayed and out thought.

Brighton weren't that great, they were just better at the simple things.

They stroked the ball about, looking comfortable, even on the edge of their own penalty area.

Why someone didn't pressure their goalkeeper when he had the ball at his feet I couldn't explain but time after time he was left with the ball, playing as a sweeper.

Through the first half, Charlton were more than in it.

We had enough chances to be in the lead at halftime but as the teams plodded back to their cup of tea we were 1-0 down.
A well worked corner had left an unmissable chance that looked so easy I felt it must be offside, though it probably wasn't at all.

The second half was:
 i) A terrible defensive cock up give away goal.
ii) A fantastic free kick that was so well executed it had me clapping an opposition goal at The Valley.
iii) A goal that was the result of our team having already given up.

So, a 4-0 defeat.
At home.
Against Brighton.

If I'd known what I know now, as I was walking back to Seven Sisters tube station in December 2006, would I have tried to enjoy the moment?
We were still a Premier League team, playing in a sold out 27,000 stadium for most home games with current and future international stars pulling on our team shirt.

On that day, I felt it couldn't get much worse.

Please tell me that in a few years, I won't be looking back on mid October 2010 as a period when I should have been taking the time to look about and smell the roses.

A Casual Rating.
Where to start?
I think Parky and his team should do the honourable thing and contact me to claim their own Primark novelty slogan tee-shirts.
What a load of cock.

The Lacoste polo is going to our Radostin Kishishev.
Whoever Kish plays for, he will always be ours. I feel he shares the sentiment.
It was good to see him at his spiritual home yesterday but it would have been better if he had been playing for us.
We more than need him.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Welcome Home Kish

Today we welcome back to The Valley, in my eyes, a true Charlton hero.

Never the most skilful or prolific of players, he carved out a reputation with us as being the one who did the donkey work so more flamboyant players could "do their stuff".

Kish was a Marmite player.
Many fans chose to ignore his tireless work for the team and focused on his wayward shooting or occasional erratic distribution.

I saw him as the player who gave the rest of the team, especially the midfield, the confidence to go out and play, safe in the knowledge that should they make a horlicks of it, our man Radostin was there to clean up.

Kish loved Charlton.
It's fair to say that he still does.

Reports have circulated this week attributing quotes to him that must give all of us a warm feeling inside.

Radostin is bringing his family to the game today, such is his strong bond with our club.

Everyone has their favourite incidents from watching Charlton.
I know I have many.

I enjoyed it when a bloke near me in the East stand used to refer to Kish as 'Great Uncle Bulgaria'.
 Over time, this got reduced to merely "Unc".

Definitely somewhere in my top 20 memories will be the time our man Rad came up against a preening and pouting C Ronaldo who was wearing a Manchester United shirt.

Ronaldo was just starting out on his road to fame and footballing fortune.

Ronaldo was a cheating diver on the day. 
Though he could have taken on our team and skinned them with pace and skill, he decided to throw himself to the floor whenever one of our players came near.

We knew it was happening, the players knew it was happening, I'd imagine the officials knew it was happening but they still played along and gave free kicks.

Kish had seen enough.

He rightly concluded, the next time he went near Ronaldo, the little weasel would launch himself skywards yelling in pain.
If the United winger was going to get a free kick for nothing, he may as well give away a real free kick!

The image above was taken as Kish made the sort of agricultural tackle that normally would make me wince with shame.

In this instance, I stood up and cheered.

I was not alone.

Around 20,000 people all cheered too and Ronaldo was a broken man for the rest if the game.

Welcome Back Kish.

A (nameless) Charlton manager made a real error in my view when you were shipped out to Leeds United.

The 7 years you spent at the Valley were also one of the best times Charlton have ever had.

A coincidence?

Maybe...... but Charlton would have been a much weaker prospect without our Kish.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Plymouth Parity

Plymouth Argyle 2 - Charlton Athletic 2

There was never a danger of me making it to Devon yesterday.

I salute those 600 or so hardy souls, who were already on their journey West when I was deciding it was far too early for the first Saturday morning cup of coffee.
The fact that those same people didn't return to London until after the pubs were shut, just proves what a long old 'poke' it is.

I turned on BBC London to hear the same commentary CAFCplayer were offering.
I was a little tardy getting my act together and the game was already 15 minutes old before I realised we were 1-0 down.
Bad defending apparently.

The first half seemed to be more about chances spurned by Argyle but I was able to shout "Get in there!"  when Benson stabbed the ball into the Plymouth net, with the aid of an upright.

Part two of the game was just the opposite.
Our commentary team managed to paint a rather rosy picture whereby it seemed it was only a matter of time before Charlton got their just desserts and scored a hatful.
Needless to say, Argyle grabbed back the lead with a quite tremendous strike, "against the run of play".

With only a few minutes left, it seemed as if it was to be another Charlton disappointment on the road.
We've only won away once in the league and this looked like another kick in the teeth.

I was hoping for Charlton to fight back but I didn't really think it would happen.

My neighbours were treated to another yelp of euphoria as Benson, (again), managed to equalise after a perfect header back across the goal by Doherty.

Many will be a little flat at the result but I'd rather be sunny and say that this is just the kind of game we could have won but in recent seasons would probably have lost.

It's now all set for the game at home to Brighton next weekend.
I have family in Brighton and I was somewhat 'ribbed' by their win at the Valley last season.

Please Charlton.

For me.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Franchise Flushed

Franchise FC 1 - Charlton Athletic 2.

What a fickle bunch we are.

Two minutes into tonight's Paint Drying Cup game at Stadium:MK and it was all gloom and doom.

We're rubbish, we're doomed, we're the worst Charlton team for a generation etc. etc.

By the end of the game it was smiles all round, players hugging each other and the warm feeling of accomplishment we get when our team win, and win well.

As the first half progressed, Charlton came more and more into the game and probably shaded it in terms of general play, despite 'Spotty' Chadwick's extremely early leading strike.

The second half was all Charlton.
Most people with any interest in the game, would have either seen live, or on Sky, the way Kyel Reid imposed himself on the second period.

Reid's sublime ball for Abbott to head home was inch perfect.
Without bragging, I think I too could have scored from such a perfect cross.

As there was to be no extra time, penalties were looming when Reid crossed again, this time using his right foot, for Waggy to steal in at the far post and touch the ball over the line.
A perfect run onto another perfect cross.

A few more performances like this one from Reid, especially on television, might mean a bid we can't turn down in January.

Charlton ran the clock down and are now into the next round, which I believe is the Quarter Finals.

A Casual Rating
No surprises here, Kyel Reid gets the Lacoste polo for his match winning performance.
I make it that our last 4 goals have all come from KR crosses.
Keep it up Kyel!

The Primark novelty slogan t shirt is being awarded to whoever decided the optimum kick off time was 7:15pm.
How many people turned on later, only to find they'd missed the first half an hour?

I also want to award a novelty slogan t shirt to the commentators who were so Premier League-centric, they were able to summise the following while discussing the slippy pitch,

"Even at this level, the players will own a few pairs of boots".

Even at "this level" ???
Come off it fellers. It's hardly playing against the bins behind the car park.
The players might only be tier 3 players but it is their job.
Most people have possessions that help them with their work.
Having said that, even parks players probably have a couple of pairs of boots kicking about at home.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Bee Flat

Brentford 2 - Charlton Athletic 1.
I could tell it was going to be 'one of those days'.

Firstly, a stroppy blonde tried to push onto the train at Greenwich, secure in the knowledge that :
1) her posh accent
2) she looked good in a pair of tight jeans,
usually meant she got what she wanted.

She was most put out because the traveling public didn't part like the Red Sea, so she could get into a more comfortable position in a completely packed out carriage.

Not five minutes later, a rather wizened old Asian lady turned on a young man who was mildly reading a book while listening to his iPod.
He removed an earphone to enquire why she was prodding him and wildly waving.
Apparently, he had "No manners" and he had been pushing her.

He was balanced next to me so I knew she was mistaken.
I told him not to worry as she had completely made it up.
There followed a torrent of abuse where I was called a c*** and a  b****** by the coffin dodger.

Ah, the joys of Network South East.

The rest of the journey was pain free.
Plenty of familiar faces on the train out from Waterloo, who all managed to exit at Brentford just as the rain began to fall.

The sounds of Status Quo met us as we entered the ground.
Obviously it wasn't "Down Down" they were playing as it might have seemed rather harsh at the basement club.

The girl at the fizzy pop and pie stand couldn't count and tried to charge me 20p too much. In fairness she was very smiley and repeated 3 times how sorry she was when I pointed this out.

The Charlton end was packed out. There was an expectant atmosphere and our crowd were on good form.
Some youngsters were rather sneakily smoking some 'jazz woodbines' near me which mixed rather nicely with the smell of flatulence from the bloke in front.

The game kicked off and within seconds we were under the cosh.

Ex Addick Weston tormented Francis all afternoon.
Francis was all at sea against the pace and changes of direction he was subjected to. He may as well have stayed at home for all the use he was at defending.

We were 1-0 down after our players seemed more concerned about, (ex Millwall), Alexander blocking and pushing than making any efforts to stop him. A powerful drive into the roof of the net was no more than Brentford deserved.

The rest of the first half went by in a wave of Brentford attacks.
By half time it was 2-0 but it really could have been at least 3 or 4.

I'm struggling to recall a single meaningful Charlton attack until the last minute of the half.

The team received a rather 'mixed' response from our crowd as they trudged past us on their way to the changing rooms.

Martin had been awful and he was withdrawn at half time for Reid. Fry went off too and Abbott came on up front instead.

We looked more attractive and also more dangerous too after the changes.

Reid was the focus of everything good about Charlton and eventually his good work on the left lead to Wagstaff firing the ball home.
(I saw him shoot, I saw the keeper dive, unfortunately I didn't see the ball hit the goal as the surge of bodies on the terrace blocked my sight line.)

There was just too much to do.

Brentford thought they'd scored a third but the referee disallowed it. Still not sure why as it was up the other end.

Akpo Sodje came on to try and bulldoze an equaliser but it just wasn't to be.
He ran about a bit, then collapsed and was carried off by a couple of people, one of whom was possibly unused substitute Llera.

What a load of cock.

A Casual Rating.

Charlton really didn't deserve anything from a game they lost in the first half.
Our crowd turned up.
The team didn't.

Kyel Reid can have the Lacoste polo for his second half display. An honorable mention must also go to ex Addick Myles Weston who was almost unplayable in the first half, (admittedly against a very poor Francis).

The dreaded Primark novelty slogan t shirt is going to the previously mentioned Francis.
Out. Of. His. Depth.
......and this is tier 3.