Sunday, 28 February 2010

How are those Grapes?

Over the years, I think we have all come home from games, bitterly disappointed and convinced the 'right' result didn't happen for a multitude of reasons.

Our friends at other clubs are no different to us.

In this electronic age, we are all free to make tits of ourselves on the internet and in the cold light of day, I think this Southend supporter might be regretting some of his remarks.

He's lucky the comments section of the site has been turned off or it could have all have turned nasty.

Evidently, he has a bee in his bonnet about Nicky Bailey and Phil Parkinson.
We all know that Bailey 'reacts' with a flourish but he has to have something, (in this case a rightly punished punch), to react to.

When the Southend manager refused to shake Bailey's hand, rather pettily in the heat of the moment I'd imagine, Bailey was chastised for being 'unprofessional' when he is reported to have reciprocated in kind.
 I'd take it all with a pinch of salt anyway.
 I've not seen any other reports of him 'giving the finger' to his old colleagues.

I'm going to use the article as a cautionary tale, reminding me to never write anything while the red mist is still clouding my judgement.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Charlton 'Do a Leeds' in Essex.

The journey last night from North Greenwich to Stratford was was child's play on the Jubilee line.

After arriving at the architects paradise of Stratford, I asked a yellow bibbed TFL staff member the simple question
"Which platform for Southend?"
He looked at me as if I'd asked for directions to a holiday home in Devon and replied that there were no trains to Southend from Stratford.

"You need to go to Liverpool Street", he said.

I showed him my ticket, already purchased, showing the starting point of Stratford and the destination as Southend plus a print out of the departure time for the journey.
Someone's made a cock up was his expression.

Within 2 minutes I had located a large sign, "Platform 10 for Southend".
Even if this was his first day on the job, it was still inexcusable.

There were plenty of other Addicks on the train. Many had evidently been rather thirsty throughout the afternoon.

Charlton filled the whole section behind one goal plus a corner section.
The 'facilities' of a toilet block, not much bigger than a family car with a painted wall and a small ditch to relieve yourself into were never going to cope.
They didn't.

Roots Hall was freezing cold and I was happy to have so many others packed in around me, penguin style.

Before the game, there was no doubt who the star of the show/pantomime villain was going to be.
Nicky Bailey was the "Love of our lives" and there seemed to be more ginger wigs on display than at a Mick Hucknall tribute night.

Southend were quiet, other than a group of around 60 kids who had positioned themselves as near as they could to the away support.
The Southend team started brightly and Robbie Elliott made some smart saves.
I'm not sure what was going on at the other end as my view was worth about 20 pence.

The first major incident centred around Guess Who?
Southend were awarded a free kick, just outside the Addick's penalty area.
Bailey did what any pro footballer would do and tried to stop the men from Essex picking up the ball quickly.
A minor scuffle followed, a punch was made and Bailey hit the deck, rolling around like a toddler having a tantrum.
Yes he was hit but Bailey did himself no favours with his reaction.
He has made a reputation for himself as a diver and faker and this time he made sure the red card was brandished to Christophe with a shameless piece of play acting.

Christophe and his team mates didn't complain about the sending off. In their heart of hearts they must have known it was merited but Bailey's histrionics burned any kind of tissue thin bridges he still had between himself and the Shrimpers.

Elliott saved the free kick with a fantastic dive to his right.

Unfortunately, young Robbie came a cropper soon afterwards when a terrible mix up between Dailly and Llera left the ball bouncing towards Paterson who let fly from distance.
Robbie had the ball well covered but we all watched with horrified expressions as the ball squirmed under his arms and trickled agonisingly over the line.

The loud and proud Charlton support were momentarily silenced though Robbie must have been reassured by the choruses of support for him after his error.

The game reverted to the painful spectacle of Tuesday night against Brighton.
Their team looked faster and more up for it than ours.
If you had arrived for the final 15 minutes of the first half, you would not have known Southend had only 10 men unless you were told.

Half time was spent taking a leak somewhere near the official toilet area and wondering why Southend feel the need to have LA Lakers style, hotpant wearing cheerleaders, on a cold February night.

In the second half, the Addicks were attacking towards our support and gradually we became louder and louder.
The referee and linesmen became targets for abuse, due to some blatant home town decisions involving wrongly called throw ins and corners.

I sent a message to Crispy saying that I was beginning to really hate Mooney.
A little harsh in retrospect but he missed an absolute sitter of an open goal when all he needed to do was put his laces through the ball and break the net.
I found myself willing our team to keep the ball away from him as along with the referee, he was breaking down our attacks whenever he became involved.

Semedo had made way for Kyel Reid after around 65 minutes and our toothless attack started to come to life.
The ineffective Mooney was finally replaced by McKenzie after Akpo Sodje had caused the away end of the ground to start bouncing around with 15 minutes to go. He tucked the ball away after some good work from Reid on the left side.
As happy as I was, I did find it hard to celebrate too heartily that we had finally equalised against a poor, 10 man team.

From then on, it was all Charlton.
Wave after wave of attack, all focusing around Reid, had our crowd baying for the winner.
It looked as if a combination of more dodgy calls from the officials and strong, backs to the wall defending were going to see us returning to London with only a point.

When we saw there were to be 6 minutes of added on time, our support notched up the volume again. Only a minute later, there was one of those moments when we all remember why we bother following our team.
Reid took the ball at pace, again down the left, cut inside and then sent an unstoppable rocket of a shot into the far corner.
We had managed to do what Leeds have been doing all season and use the added on time as a goal scoring opportunity to grab a win.

To say that there was delirium in the away section is rather an understatement.
The pent up energy and frustration we have all felt lately came flooding out in a writhing sea of red and white, - old and young climbing on top of each other in unbridled joy.

It's those moments we remember at the end of the season and will often give us the incentive to keep going.
To share that particular moment with 2,300 tightly packed others was just perfect.

A Casual Rating
The Lacoste polo shirt is being awarded, without even a shadow of doubt, to Kyel Reid who turned the game, making our first goal and scoring the second in added on time.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to Nicky Bailey, (again), for his histrionics after being hit by Christophe.
He made sure that Southend went down to ten men, (correctly), but I feel very ashamed that a player wearing our shirt feels the need to have this particular aspect to his game.
He is a fantastic player with wonderful match winning qualities but his constant rolling around with his hands on his face always leave a bad taste in my mouth.

A CC special request to all Charlton fans.
If any of you are feeling on a high after our win, I implore you to click here.
Sue is one of those people who is always doing things for other people and this is a fantastic cause.
 Five half marathons is five more than I'll ever do.
Come on Charlton, show your support for this local girl.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Charlton Ath. 1 - Brighton & Hove Albion 2


What a load of pony.

I've just returned home from this evenings below par performance and to add insult to injury, the bottom of my left shoe, (Puma Clyde), is caked in what can be politely termed 'horse poo'.

This area of London is not renowned for herds of ponies, trotting in and out of the traffic as they do in the New Forest, so I can only assume it has come from one of the Metropolitan Police dobbins.

Brighton started the game in a much more energetic way than we did.
They seemed invigorated by their draw at Elland Road on Saturday and were obviously looking to push on in the same way at the Valley.

We were comprehensively beaten in all areas of the pitch this evening.

The Brighton players seemed to cope with the heavy pitch and skiddy conditions in a far more accomplished fashion than we did.
When the ball squirmed free after a miscontrol, it nearly always fell to a Brighton player while their players seemed to recover much quicker from mistakes than ours.

Having said that, we had many more chances than Brighton but never really looked like scoring.

We could have had a penalty in the first half but referee and banker, Andy D'Urso was unmoved and then carried on by being an 'anti homer' for the entire game.
Perhaps he has friends in Brighton?

We can hide behind the officials and the conditions but in reality we were just second best.

Brighton brought probably the second largest away following this season, (after Millwall), and their supporters were in good voice.
Today was obviously one of the games their supporters had flagged as a mass away day and they had brought what looked like around a third of their home support.
They amused me with their "Dirty Northern B******s" chant at us and the moments when the Jimmy Seed stand became like a Hitler Youth rally chanting "Seig Heil!" (or something like that.....)

We should have been one nil up when Brighton scored.

The ball pinged around in the Brighton penalty area with everybody convinced that somebody else was going to smack the ball into the net .
No one did and instantly Brighton took the ball up the other end and punished us with a well taken goal, scored by Calderon.

In the second half we wasted more chances and never really found the cutting edge that was necessary.

The performance was eventually starting to look more promising, at least until the 77th minute.
A long distance speculative shot went rasping into the net from more or less the same spot that Reid scored on Saturday. This time it was from Elliott Bennett and hundreds of Addicks headed for the exits straight away.
We were never going to get back into the game after that setback and D'Urso should have just sent everybody home there and then.

Typical bloody Charlton to score with the last kick of added on time, when the game was already up, just as happened at Bristol Rovers.
If the goal had been scored even 5 minutes before we could have had an exciting finish but most of the crowd were already in Floyd Road or Harvey Gardens by the time Akpo Sodje made the scoreline look more acceptable.
It was more than we deserved.

My sister and her family live in one of the more funky neighbourhoods of Brighton.
 I've just received a text from my brother in law, proclaiming that he is still going to be drinking tea all day from the Charlton mug I bought.
Thanks Mark!

A Casual Rating 
This is a toughie as everyone was poor but I'm awarding the Lacoste polo shirt to Kyel Reid, who didn't hide after making errors.
 He kept going, kept trying and never once shirked in his attempts to get things moving forward.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to Dave Mooney who in an all round poor performance, stood out as being particularly awful.
He hasn't really recovered his form since his injury lay off and I'm starting to lose faith in him, despite taking his goal against Yeovil very well.

The high hopes and feelings of joy after Saturday have evaporated into thin air and have been replaced with a far more familiar feeling in 2010.

Let's hope we have more luck on Friday in Essex, against another coastal town, Southend.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Charlton Athletic 2 - Yeovil Town 0
Our team actually looked like they were playing with both belief and purpose this afternoon as the 5 game winless run, finally ended.

Yeovil could quite easily have gone 1-0 up but Robbie Elliot performed well to (twice) block free shots.

After the early scares, the Addicks looked fairly comfortable pushing forward, especially down the left side.

Debutant Johnnie Jackson made all the difference, linking particularly well with Kyel Reid, thereby taking the pressure off Lloyd Sam to provide the crosses.

Nicky Bailey had a game to forget.
Among the many errors today, he missed a golden opportunity to put the home side ahead when given the chance to go one on one with the 'keeper.
If anything, he had too much time to compose himself and merely blasted the ball against McCarthy who came rushing out from the Glovers goal.

On half an hour, Charlton pushed forward in numbers and looked to have an advantage of 5 players to 3 in the attack.
When Kyel Reid shaped to shoot it didn't look like the correct decision but the ferocity and late bend of his shot gave the Yeovil keeper no chance at all. McCarthy looked to have the ball well covered but the wicked bend in flight completely bamboozled him.
Charlton continued to press forward and the dominance finally paid dividends a second time, after 54 minutes, when Dave Mooney walloped the ball into the roof of the net after good play down the right side.

At 2-0, Charlton looked comfortable and the end of the game was played out without the usual Charlton jitters.

Well done to Parky and all the players for placing a smile on our faces this evening. It's been a while.

Norwich losing today is a bonus but they are so far ahead of us we need them to falter a few more times.

Lucky, lucky Leeds scoring again, EXTREMELY late into added on time, (AGAIN!) was a little disappointing as the Yorkshire side grabbed a draw at home against Brighton.

If we play with the same sense of belief on Tuesday, also against Brighton, I can see another 3 points on the board for us.
It's still all to play for.......... and I really didn't think that earlier in the week.

A Casual Rating
I'm awarding a 'welcome to the Valley' Lacoste polo shirt to new boy Johnnie Jackson. He had an almost faultless performance and seemed to be everywhere, doing just the right thing. Well done Johnnie!

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is being awarded to Nicky Bailey.
He wasn't appalling, just not up to the high standards we expect from our captain.
He made errors that on another day would have been harshly punished, not least losing possession in dangerous positions and passing too often without looking.

In fairness to Nicky, it was his tenacity and endeavor to win the ball back after an error that lead directly to the build up for the first goal.
However, in his heart of hearts, Nicky will know that today won't be going onto his highlight DVD.

Finally, please permit me a brief moment of self congratulation as this has been my 100th CC posting.
Thanks to everyone who has bothered to read me.

Friday, 19 February 2010

How Yeo can we go?

To paraphrase Public Enemy, "How low can you go?
Death row? What a brother knows".

It's hardly a case for State sanctioned murder but it did enter my brain today that this is the lowest, by league position, that I have ever seen Charlton play live.
4th place in the third tier is a personal (lowest) record. It might make me a glory boy of sorts as I climbed on board the Addicks train when we were a solid second tier side.
If only eh?

The boys from the countryside are heading to the smoke tomorrow, full of belief that they are meeting us in the middle of a slump.

Five games without a win doesn't sound good and the high pressure environment of the Valley might be just what our players don't need.

Having said that, if our crowd can show the patience  that Parky has asked for and we restrict Yeovil to a few chances early on, I hope our crowd will get behind the team and let recent bygones be bygones.

At the risk of playing the same record for the 5th time, we really need the fabled reaction from our team after the misfiring at Bristol Rovers.

We should be welcoming a new 'JJ' for a starting place and perhaps he will be the change of luck we need.

In other news, it seems that Millwall are wetting their pants at the prospect of a bumper crowd, (for them), of over 10,000 at the toolbox for the visit of the Addicks.
Of course they don't care about us and it's just another game as far as they are concerned.
(Yeah right).
I implore everyone who can, to head towards the ticket office or the phone line and make sure we take up our whole allocation. We can then be allocated the second wave of tickets for Millwall's cup final which will then be on General Sale and everyone who wants a ticket will get one.

As for Yeovil, I've nothing against them and from all the reports I received, their crowd seemed a friendly bunch.
Despite this, I want them to experience the proverbial long journey home, pointless and despondent.

Without a one man advantage and a Somerset monsoon to help them, I'm predicting a home win by 2 clear goals.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A Lucky Break?

Unlike you, I wasn't glued to the coverage of our game against the Pirates and I wasn't taking in the air at Bristol either.
Due to an unfortunate sequence of events, I found myself in a communications black hole, far removed from all things Charlton.
Do you know what? I couldn't give a stuff.

I had decided to travel with our heroes to Bristol Rovers but when the game was switched to Monday evening there was no way I was going to see any of it.

We had booked a romantic break few days away, staying at Broadstairs.
We stayed at the Royal Albion Hotel, in one of the most charming 'superior class' rooms I've ever been in.
The bed was large enough for Nicky Bailey to entertain 5 or 6 wives and the view from the bay window was astonishing, (above).
We both grinned at each other for fully five minutes when we arrived.

Due to being so far from anywhere, internet connection on my iPhone had almost completely vanished and there was no way I was going to ruin the atmosphere by hinting we should spend the evening in a pub showing Sky Sports.

It was a blessing in disguise when the game was switched. My own lucky break. I was out of the loop and quite happy about it.

Ketts from Doctor Kish very kindly sent me a couple of texts throughout the game - ( I knew about Basey's injury and the half time score) but despite a little frown, I was having such a lovely time I put it to the back of my mind.
We were enjoying after dinner coffee when the final score came through - a mixture of Crispy and Ketts let me know of our minor comeback, too late, deep into added on time.

As I said above, it was very easy for me to take the bad news having seen none of the game. Had I watched the game live or even live on television I know that I would have felt let down by yet another below par performance.

I am my own worst enemy.
Despite finding the way to make sure my happiness is not dependent upon Charlton Athletic, this morning I bought myself and Crispy tickets for the Millwall toolbox awayday.
Added to my upcoming Friday night race out of work to get to Southend, I've really set myself up for more misery.

Come on Charlton.
We need a boost and quickly, starting on Saturday against the Yeovil yokels.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Sorry to disappoint anyone who was expecting more gloom and doom.
I clicked on this earlier today and I just had to share it.

I'm now waiting for the Covered End Choir to embrace it as their own.


Sunday, 7 February 2010

Yet Another Draw

It's Sunday night and until now, I haven't made any efforts to comment on the point gained in Wiltshire yesterday.

On Friday morning, I had decided that I was going to be heading West but by Saturday morning, I found I couldn't be bothered after all.
Our rather jittery performances of late had made me think that perhaps my time and money could be better spent.

Of course, as the clock ticked towards 3pm and I realised I was now trapped with the unique offerings of the BBC's Emma, I momentarily regretted my decision.

Nicky Bailey saved the day, at the death, after what appeared to be a poor Charlton team effort.

On Thursday night we headed out into Kent, to visit the Orchard theatre at Dartford.
We were there to see Tim Vine doing his new show.
He was fantastic. The rapid fire delivery was unceasing and I found that I often missed jokes as I was still laughing at the previous one.
The crowd was far more 'mixed' than at many comedy shows. There were many more 'older' people and also a fair smattering of kids who looked to be around 12 years old.
I suppose it's because he doesn't swear or start talking about his genitals.

Unlike Charlton at the moment, I'd recommend seeing Tim Vine to anyone.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Another Draw

Walsall 1 - Charlton Athletic 1.
(Another 2 points dropped.)

I can't really add much to the events of this evening.
I wasn't anywhere near the West Midlands so I had to rely on the CAFCplayer online service to paint me a picture of what was happening.
Oh my, it's bad isn't it?

I am lucky enough to see all our home games live and quite a few away games too. This means I haven't really had much experience of 'Emma'.
She's dreadful.

Her comments were so far behind the play that the attacks she described had already been cleared by the time she let us know a player was shaping to shoot. Crowd noise was the most accurate indicator of what was going on. Her odd 'jammed machine gun' style of broadcasting was........ very......annoying....and...I ......lost .......interest.....quite...rapidly..... andturnedthewholethingoff.

From what I did catch, Charlton went 1-0 down, against the run of play, then just before half time won a penalty when Racon was fouled.
Deon Burton scored the penalty to end the first period 1-1.

Emma left her mic on over halftime so we were treated to her wittering on about a black coffee and her telephone conversation stating her certainty "it was a pen".

In truth, I took a bath and got a little sidetracked by FA cup action,- Palace playing against Wolves on itv4 throughout the second half.
I'd had enough of Emma so I looked at the updates from the BBC live text every few minutes instead.

Nothing has changed.
We are still gaining points but not enough to get close to the top two.
Today, for the first time this season, I checked when the Play Off finals are to be held.

I think we all agree now that it's the best we can hope for.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Shut That Door!

Sky Sports News can relax again.

The Transfer Window slammed shut today with Charlton doing fairly well in my opinion.

We have managed to ship out the misfiring McLeod who was beginning to get on most peoples nerves at the Valley, (and he seems to have messed it all up at Peterborough too.)
No news on Moo2, (unless I've missed it) but plenty of other fringe of squad players have gone out for a bit of work experience.

Coming the other way is the returning Akpo Sodje, who surely is being lined up for a permanent move.
He's here until the season ends which is also when his current contract with Sheffield Wednesday runs out.
Akpo joins Kyel Reid from the Blades of Sheffield, also until the end of the season.
David Mooney has signed on until the end of this campaign so Parky has done well to pad out our attacking options.
We have however, lost the full back Elliott Omozusi who is still registered with Fulham.

Tomorrow we head back to Walsall for another attempt at playing inside the 'Banks Stadium', (weather permitting).
Away from the pressures of an increasingly impatient home crowd, I'm predicting a win for Charlton and the 'reaction' we were promised after the Leyton Orient game.
Come on you Reds!