Monday, 9 August 2010

Beach Boys Beaten

  Charlton Athletic 1 - Bournemouth 0.

It was brought to my attention last night, that I still haven't got my act together to comment on here, despite being at our game against the Cherries on Saturday afternoon.

So, back from holiday and yes, very relaxing thanks for asking.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, we arrived back to a very wet, cold and miserable England which was very different to the parched, dusty, warm environment we had so swiftly become accustomed to.

A few hours in bed and then it was a new season to look forward to.

In the time we were away, players had arrived at the Valley from Southend, Oldham and Ipswich among other places and I wondered how many of the starting line up I was going to recognise.

And so it came to pass.
The first game of the 2010 / 11 season.
The Nay sayers had been given their many opportunities to Nay, the Knockers had spent the close season, well, knocking and those with their glasses tinted a shade of rose, had all shared their views.

Now it was for real and we all wanted to see some clues as to what the season might hold for us.

Firstly, we all now know that the venerable old Keithy Peacock won't be popping up this season to regale us with half time of tales of "Valley Gold not being around when I was coming through the ranks....".

I'll miss his regular invitation to part with my cash, despite the missing pixels seeming to add 5 years to his age with every appearance.

The electronic scoreboard has been a bit of a laughing stock over the last couple of years and it has now delivered it's final message.
I didn't realise how often I looked at it until it wasn't there.

Parky has assembled a squad that, on paper, and at first viewing, doesn't look much weaker than the one we finished with last season.

Alan McCormack gave a good impression and in Crispy's eyes, could be a kind of Nicky Bailey without the histrionics.
Doherty linked well with Dailly and they had a very solid afternoon. At their ages, three games in a week might be too much so Llera could be getting some game time soon due to injury or fatigue.

Charlton came out of the traps as if they had something to prove.

Kyel Reid was fantastic. He ripped Bournemouth to shreds as he glided past their static defence to cross a pinpoint ball onto Sodje, who managed to send the ball into the Jimmy Seed stand by way of the crossbar.
A few moments later, Reid was at it again but this time Sodje managed to steer the ball home.

1-0 and totally in control.

At this stage, it looked as if Bournemouth were on for a real tonking.
They lost their discipline and started tackling wildly. 

Referee Hegley seemed as if he wanted to help the Addicks along and gave some really odd decisions in our favour, much to the displeasure of the Dorset folk on their big day out in the Smoke.
None of the decisions were match altering but he'd make up for it later.

Abbott was running around in much the same way as Mooney used to, though he doesn't look to be as lightweight as the crowd dividing Irishman.
Semedo was doing his mopping up roll dutifully and Jackson was giving Reid the back up he needed when he advanced forward. Solly seemed happier to be playing on the right.
Only Wagstaff seemed a little out of sorts.

How the score remained 1-0, I really don't know. 
Charlton looked as if they were a class apart and Bournemouth looked as if they had no ideas beyond trying to clog the danger men, (very surprising for a supposedly passing, 'footballing' side).

When the teams returned for the second half, Harry Arter had been replaced. His dream 'return' to the Valley really hadn't worked out well for him and possibly due to trying too hard, he was a bit of a liability and looked a likely candidate for an early bath.

The game turned on the hour mark. 
Semedo stretched to reach a 50:50 ball. 
Both players were fully commited and Semedo, from my angle, seemed to win the ball, (though obviously due to the attentions of the Bournemouth player Symes, it wasn't particularly cleanly).

I believe Semedo's foot made it through to make contact with his prone opponent but it could quite easily have ended up being the other way around.
It was just the kind of challenge a referee might decide is worthy of a yellow card if he's trying to stamp his authority on the game.

The players, and Semedo in particular, were amazed and appalled when the referee made a very speedy decision, rushing forwards while taking his card out.
A red card did seem very, VERY harsh for a tackle that was strong but honest.

From that moment, the game was up.
Bournemouth tried to make their extra player count but they really were quite toothless up front. 
Charlton were quite happy to hold onto what they already had.

There was a heart stopping moment when a clean tackle inside the Charlton penalty area was judged to be a foul. Having decided it was a foul, the referee had to give a penalty kick but strangely then decided the offence had been just outside the area.

It was a ridiculous decision, one of many odd ones Hegley gave to Bournemouth in the second half.
Both sets of supporters could quite honestly moan about the referee. 
He was actually a bit of a homer for periods of the first half but after the break he obviously remembered those wonderful childhood Summers spent at Poole harbour and completely favoured the Cherries. 

Racon replaced Abbott and then Lee Martin came on for Waggy with around 15 minutes to go.
Martin looked lively and could be a very useful addition to the squad this year.
Sodje was the final change as he made way for Francis with only about 3 minutes to go.
Unfortunately, the referee chose to add 5 minutes to the game, giving him an opportunity to book Martin for supposedly kicking the ball away and then booking Cooper for throwing the ball away only 30 seconds later.

My watch showed that well over 6 minutes additional time were actually played due to the ref quite clearly, enjoying himself as the centre of attention. 

A 1-0 win puts 3 points on the board and was a decent leg stretcher for the busy week ahead.

A Casual Rating

The Lacoste polos have been hanging in the wardrobe for 11 weeks now, so I've decided to award two this time.
Kyel Reid is the recipient of the first one for his superlative first half performance.
Chris Solly has added to his reputation with a stellar second half showing and is being awarded one too.
Well done to the both of them.

The Primark novelty slogan t-shirt is, naturally, going to the referee.
Nothing to do with Semedo's sending off.
The red card was given in real time and second guessing from the comfort of my sofa, with the benefit of a pause button really isn't fair.
My gripe with him was he seemed to be looking for fouls in order to even things up rather than just refereeing the game, resulting in some very odd moments.

As I've said before, while we are languishing in tier 3, we'll be getting tier 3 officials so we had all better get used to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Semedo was unlucky but had the tackle been the other way around, we'd all have said it deserved a red.
It's a long season and hopefully we will get some luck at a more critical time.