Friday, 25 February 2011


Notts County 1- Charlton Athletic 0.

Not content with having a murderer playing for them, County added theft and GBH to their portfolio this evening.

On another night, County would have been down to 9 men.

A wrestling move in the penalty area and the most clear cut 'red card' horror clattering on Anyinsah lead to no sendings off and a feeble BWP missed penalty.

There was only one team in it this evening yet when the luck was being handed out, it fell squarely onto the buttocks of Bishop who glanced the ball goalwards off his shorts.
Francis added an extra touch to give Elliott no chance.

We are in danger of becoming that side who plays other teams off the park, yet regularly loses to a set play or the one clear cut chance the opposition get.

Of course, Paul Ince was watching a completely different game.
He claimed in his post match yack yack that County fully deserved their win!
His opinion means nothing, especially when we recall his ludicrous outburst after we thrashed MK Dons 5-1 last year and he blamed it all on the officials!

So, 3/3 losses for Chris Powell after a previous 4/4 win rate.
We need to turn it around and fairly quickly.
In fairness to SCP, we weren't bad at all, we just didn't take the chances.

The penalty in particular was especially poor.

I know footballers have a reputation for being a little, (ahem), 'intelligence challenged' but surely trying to place a low shot on an extremely sticky surface was asking for trouble?

Anyway. It's game over now and it's not like we've never been here before.
A bit of belief, a bit of encouragement from us and a slight nudge from Lady Luck and we'll be smiling again.

Casual Rating.
Joe Anyinsah gets the coveted Lacoste polo this time.
He was too good for County in the first half and only faded late on, when the pitch really did look as if it had been hosting a ploughing match.

The dreaded Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to BWP for his appalling penalty 'effort' and also the County keeper Stuart 'full' Nelson, for trying to do a Harald Schumacher.
How he didn't get sent off is beyond me.
You just know Robbie Elliott would have been back to the showers if it had been up the other end.

Ref watch.
I don't think he was watching actually.
A 3/10 score from me.

No excuses. We came undone due to our own shortcomings.
Our abysmal record on live television continues.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


We are now back from spending a lovely couple of days at Broadstairs.

Broadstairs was famously the birthplace of ex Prime Minister Edward Heath.

He would sometimes head out to the tip of Kent, (bypassing his own constituency at Bexley), travelling all the way by rail, 'after work'.

Personally, it's too far for me to even contemplate travelling just to put my head on a pillow but 'Ted' saw something in the town worth returning for.

We stayed again at the Albion Hotel.

The Albion is a friendly place, right next door to the Dickens House Museum where we visited yesterday.

We again enjoyed our room's sea views and spent a few hours sitting reading, while also gazing out to sea.
This was the view from the window.

We also played 'Crazy Golf', where I managed to hit the heady heights of second place.
 I'd argue it was almost impossible to make a come back after Sarah fluked / showed impressive skills to gain a hole in one on a tough hole.

We had high hopes of eating a Greek feast at a taverna we walked past in the afternoon but when we went back in the evening, the lights were off and the door was locked.
We ate elsewhere but the problem is I now have a yearning for Greek food.  

Today the heavens opened and we scampered around trying not to get drenched. 
Unfortunately, checking out of the hotel included a bit of a song and dance as between the time of paying for our meal last night and getting up this morning, my payment card had been cancelled!

Luckily I had a back up card. 
I found out, when chatting to a really helpful lady at the local branch of Lloyds, that my card had been registered as damaged but a new one hadn't been ordered for me. 
Once it had been registered, I had just 30 days before it started being 'denied'.
A shame nobody told me.

It was a relief to find out it was nothing serious but I did feel like running back to the reception of the hotel to explain away the situation which had been a little shameful.

Despite the rain, we walked around enjoying the sea air.
The sea looked rough but still the beach had plenty of hardy dog walkers, all dressed up as if they were going to have a crack at one of the Swiss Alps later in the day.

We made our way to Morelli's a Broadstairs institution, still thrilling adults and children alike with their fantastic ice cream creations.
The place has changed little since 1932 but I did notice and appreciate the free WIFI available inside.

Eventually it was back through the puddles to the car which had been liberally coated in seagull poo.

Was this the culprit? 

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Valley of Missed Opportunity.

Charlton Athletic 1- Exeter 3.

Sometimes I bloomin hate Charlton Athletic.

Earlier this week, I had warning that some inspectors were coming into school to observe and make judgements.

I planned myself to within an inch of perfection and needless to say, things went well.

Why is it that Charlton Athletic don't ever seem to pull it off when under the spotlight?

Leaving our appalling record in front of the television cameras to one side, Charlton always seem to make a complete horlicks of it when a 'special' effort has been made to get the supporters out in numbers.

Just off the top of my head, I can recall various events I have been a part of, (and travelled home disappointed), including 'Operation Riverside', 'Operation Ewood', something up at Nottingham Forest involving yellow, an 'Operation Craven' at Fulham, and even a special request by Alan P****w to get us up to Blackpool.
The team failed each and every time, (quite spectacularly at Blackburn and Blackpool).
In fairness, the team did win when we all went up to Port Vale in 1997/98 season but since then it's been a series off let downs.

Today, the club made a fantastic gesture by making every seat not held by a Season Ticket holder available for just five pounds.
A bumper crowd, approaching 25,000 have now been reminded exactly why nearly half of them don't come very often.

I really shouldn't have been surprised.
This was just an 'Operation Valley' without the stupid foam fingers and commemorative naff tee shirts.

Baring in mind the added numbers, the crowd today was really subdued.
Admittedly, the fare on the pitch was unlikely to get people bouncing but there was nothing approaching a 12th man today.
It was good to see the Valley more or less full, - something I really didn't think I'd see again until we are fortunate enough to be witnessing second tier football regularly.

The first half was fairly featureless.
Charlton could and probably should have scored twice but Ecclestone missed his chances when they were presented to him.

Over a half time natter, we decided that not enough had been shown to entice those missing fans back.
If only we'd known it was about to get far, far worse.

Firstly, Liam Sercombe was left with the freedom of South London to score.
Then Doherty made an absolute shambles of a backwards header to provide John O'Flynn with the easiest goal of his career and later Elliott gave away a penalty to make the score 3-0.

Bradley Wright, Wright, Wright, (Phillips) scored a spectacular goal which proved to be a consolation for those Addicks who hadn't already sneaked out to catch an early train.

It could have all been so different.
Charlton had chance after chance that came to nothing, hit the crossbar twice, witnessed the opposition goalkeeper handle the ball outside his area twice, (yet somehow the confused East stand lino couldn't see the misdemeanors of the fella in day glow yellow), had a penalty shout denied that was at least as strong as many we have seen given this season and finally from our angle, the penalty challenge by Elliot was made a good yard outside the area.

Typical bloomin Charlton eh?

A Casual Rating
A missed opportunity by Chris Powell's side.
Very few of those who turned up for a fiver will have been enticed back to 'hardcore' status. They'll probably have made the decision they can live without all the expense and hassle until the team are back in the Championship, whenever that may be.

The Lacoste polo is going to the new owners who have made a good impression on me so far.
They've brought back the big screen and made a fantastic effort to get bums on seats.

Gary Doherty will be wearing the Primark novelty slogan tee shirt of shame this week.
Did he attempt to pass it back using his (not insubstantial) nose?
Whatever he used, it certainly was a load of old pony and the turning point of the game.

Still, nobody ever said following Charlton Athletic was easy.
If we wanted the easy option we'd all have joined the glory boys supporting the Sky endorsed big 4 while commenting on 'our' team after watching every game from the sofa.

Those of us who aren't the Johnny come lately's who were in for a fiver will all be back for more next time.

Here's hoping for a better result.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Lazy Sunday Afternoon.

We spent Sunday afternoon enjoying the splendid Jazz Cruise on the Thames, as guests of the Bateaux London company.

Once we had grown tired of proclaiming, 'Mmmmm, nice!" to each other, we settled in to a lovely relaxing afternoon, listening to well sung and played Jazz standards and eating food that seemed too good when considering how many customers there were.

We set foot on the beautiful glass roofed boat at about 12:15pm and didn't return to Victoria Embankment until 3pm.
This gave everything a slow, plodding, unhurried atmosphere.

I can't remember the last time I spent nearly 3 hours eating my Sunday lunch.

I'd recommend the experience as it combined two of my favourite activities, 1) eating and 2) admiring the city I love.

We travelled home to Greenwich on the extremely speedy Thames Clipper service to complete a rather nautical day.

Despite it being Sarah's birthday weekend, plus Valentines, I need to say a huge 'thankyou' to Sarah for buying the trip as part of my birthday present back in September.

Abbott Shows His Worth.

Charlton Athletic 3 - Posh 2

Charlton were 1-0 down at halftime yesterday and as the old saying goes, were lucky to get nil.

Peterborough were by far the stronger side, showing purpose going forward and demonstrating to an awful Charlton bunch how to pass the ball to feet.

I lost count of how many times possession was relinquished by our team.
Luckily for us, Peterborough had to settle for merely hitting the post and completely dominating proceedings until they finally got the goal they deserved, after some trickery and a well placed unstoppable shot.

The team left the pitch to a clearly audible smattering of boos.

Over halftime I exchanged messages with my old friend Adam who was present with his son, (having picked up free tickets distributed to his school.)
The consensus was the game wasn't worth paying for, despite some good interplay from Peterborough.
The referee being carried off on a stretcher was our very macabre 'highlight', though it certainly wasn't worth turning up for.

After the break, Pawal Abbott came on for a disappointing Scott Wagstaff.
Quickly it became apparent he was out to take his chance.
With both Anyinsah and Benson ruled out, Abbott had risen in the strikers pecking order and really couldn't afford to mess up.

He didn't.

Pawel Abbott was immense.
 He ran his socks off, showed skill and composure when laying off the ball to team mates and became a huge nuisance to the Posh defenders.

Simon Francis perked up too and began beating his man.
He sent in a fantastic cross for Jackson to head in at the far post.
Less than two minutes later, after some wonderful interchanges that wouldn't have looked out of place had they been performed by the team in red at the Emirates stadium, Charlton went 2-1 up.
Bradley Wright, Wright, Wright, (Phillips) also headed in at the far post to send the Valley into raptures and Bradley onto a 3 goals in 3 games record.

Pawal Abbott then got the goal his work deserved from the edge of the area, though the strong deflection may see it being taken from him.

There was just time for Charlton to give their fans the traditional squeaky bum finish as Peterborough managed to claw back a goal as the clock hit 90 minutes.

Some excellent running with the ball, away from our goal, was enough to run down the clock and give Chris Powell his 4th win, 'on the spin' as the pundits say.

Peterborough perhaps deserved more from their first half display but ultimately it was a game where Charlton took their chances when they were offered.

A Casual Rating.
The Lacoste polo shirt is heading towards Pawal Abbott.
Charlton looked clueless in the first half but after Pav's introduction the team came alive.
The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to whoever worked out the added on time yesterday.
At the end of the first half, 4 minutes were added on, despite there being a few stoppages, a goal and the referee being down and then stretchered off, which on its own took at least 5 minutes.
Despite there being fewer incidents, the second half added on time was 6 minutes.
Go figure.
Ref Watch.
Ref #1 seemed to be having quite a good game until his mishap.
Referee #2 carried on the good work, though he did take a little while to catch up to the pace of the game.
The East stand lino was not up with play often enough and made some awful decisions, awarding throw ins the wrong way (for both sides) and ultimately confusing his job as a referee's assistant with that of a baseball capped yokel.

Since when did the Football League send their officials out looking like they were off to a shift at McDonalds?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Three Out Of Three.

Yeovil Town 0- Charlton Athletic 1.

Chris Powell really couldn't have hoped for a better start to his management career.

Three games played, three games won and no goals conceded.

Today's game, on a blustery afternoon in Somerset really only came alive after half time.

Both teams were apparently very poor throughout a first half only really memorable for the constant updates of Alan P****w's thrashing at home to Arsenal.
Of course, P****w and Newcastle were to come back from a 0-4 deficit which must have been a thriller to witness.

Returning to matters Charlton:
 Bradley Wright Phillips bundled the ball into the net from close range, after a Jackson corner, to give Charlton something to defend on 63 minutes.

Charlton seemed to have the benefit of some close calls by the referee, though for the second game running had to defend with backs to the wall for over 6 minutes of added on time.

Parky never really seemed to have much luck with the officials.

Today was just the kind of game where I could feel the referee giving a last minute penalty to the hosts.

Perhaps he would have done with our last, 'unlucky' manager?

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Farce Times.

Charlton Athletic 1- Colchester United 0.

Bradley Wright, Wright, Wright, (Phillips) scored a fantastic debut goal this evening.
He hooked the ball over his shoulder and into the far corner of the net but unfortunately for him, it won't be the talking point tomorrow morning.

What on Earth went on there then?

It would now seem that perhaps the 'correct' decision was given but at the time, I felt Colchester had been shafted.

*You may want to skip this bit, it does go on....and on.
The ball ended up in the Charlton net, the ref seemed to have a bit of a concern about giving the goal, he chatted to his (male) assistant, the goal was awarded, the goal was announced over the tannoy and celebrated wildly by the away supporters, the 'nicest man in football' went off on one, the Charlton players surrounded the referee, the fourth official became involved, the referee went for another chat with his assistant and FINALLY the 'goal' was chalked off.

What a palaver eh? Mass confusion all around the ground and head shaking were the strongest memories of that particular passage of play.

I've since heard that the referee blew his whistle in the build up to Colchester's 'goal' but at the time, I was completely clueless.

A 1-0 win was the end result though I do feel more than a little sympathetic towards Colchester and their supporters.

A Casual Rating
Bradley Wright Phillips can have a welcome to the Valley Lacoste polo shirt for his tireless running and spectacular goal.
Well done BWP.

Alan McCormack is also receiving a brand new polo for his last minute, (7th minute of added on time) clearance from a Dave Mooney effort.
I'd already decided the ball was in so he certainly saved the 2 extra points.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is not being awarded this time.
Nobody had a stinker.

Ref Watch.
I haven't quite decided if this was an extreme case of a referee using his common sense and finally arriving at the correct decision or if it was an absolute shambles.
I suppose the Colchester supporters have already made their decision!
What I do know is that he certainly made an impression this evening.