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.
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.