Sunday, 7 March 2010
Charlton Athletic 2 - Stockport County 0.
The scoreline tells you Charlton gained 3 points but anyone who was at The Valley yesterday, knows that we could have all gone home after 15 minutes and saved ourselves a whole lot of time.
WIth around ten minutes played, Stockport had hit self destruct, scoring an own goal and then only a few moments later, leaving Akpo Sodje completely unchallenged to nod home a second goal.
We rubbed our hands together thinking that this could be 'the one'.
We haven't given anyone a serious tonking since we played at home against Franchise F.C.
Surely the basement boys wouldn't be able to hold out for another 80 minutes?
As we all know, they did.
A combination of poor finishing, poor build up play, Jackson leaving the pitch due to hamstring knack, Richardson running as if he was guarding himself against another injury and Sam spending the afternoon observing the game rather than trying to take control of it, meant that when the referee finally put us all out of our misery, the scoreboard operator had been untroubled.
It's probably for the best anyway as the scoreboard is really showing signs of being on its last knockings.
Keith Peacock looked as if he had popped up from a voodoo ceremony when he made his regular half time,Valley Gold yadda yadda, such was the dullness of the screen.
Due to some sections of the screen refusing to shine at all, the overall effect was a little like those psychology experiments where you have to guess the whole picture when only shown a fraction of it.
Other than a second half flare up between Elliott and Llera after in my opinion, Elliott had failed to command his penalty area properly and a first half, 100% cast iron penalty, waved away for handball in the Stockport penalty area, the rest of the game was rather featureless.
When Burton and Waggy came on for Akpo Sodje and Sam, little to nothing improved.
Burton managed to head what seemed an easy chance over the top of the goal but by that time, a parade of scantily clad Playboy bunnies performing a dance in the centre circle wouldn't have livened up a dull atmosphere and an even duller game.
Results of other games went our way.
However, even though Millwall only managed a draw, the manner of their 2 goal comeback will have left them buzzing and believing they are never beaten.
Along with Leeds, they have made a feature of scoring late on to rescue draws or grasp wins.
Our stuttering showing won't have left anybody on a high, despite the win.
The 3 points are very welcome but if we are to gain anything at the Tool Box next weekend, we need to aspire to Millwall's never say die attitude drawing performance, rather than our own shambolic winning one.
Many people saw this game as merely one to get out of the way before the 'big one' next weekend.
All I can say is I'm glad we weren't playing Millwall this week.
We'd have been hammered.
A Casual Rating
If ever there was a game to bring your book or an iPod, this was it.
The Lacoste polo shirt is awarded to Christian Dailly who did everything he needed to do, without much of a fuss, showing his experience and leading by example.
Whoever is wearing the captain's armband, Dailly is possibly our 'real' captain.
He's the kind of player who is only noticed, when he's missing.
His stellar mopping up at the back all season has been a highlight of a jittery defence.
A second Lacoste polo is being awarded to everyone, young and old, who was inside the Valley when the minute silence was held for Keith Alexander.
It was observed without a single person wrecking it, - even the usual mobile phone didn't ring. It was so quiet, I could hear people chatting outside in the street.
The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is being held over this week. No one stood out as being especially poor in a very poor game.
The referee made good decisions throughout, trying to let the game flow whenever possible. He played advantage to both sides.
He had no help at all from the East stand lino who made few decisions of his own, merely copying what the referee had already waved for.
Let's hope the game next weekend is a little more entertaining, though in truth, I'd settle for a tedious afternoon with a jammy one goal away win.