Tuesday, 29 March 2011

It Goes On and On.......

Rochdale 2 - Charlton Athletic 0.

I wasn't up in the Manchester suburbs this evening.
I relied upon the commentary provided by BBC London on their DAB station.

It was an honour to be treated to quite so many cliches and platitudes within such a short time span.

It was also beyond joy to find out what pattern, (and colour!) trim Steve Froggatt had on his black boots when he was a player.

This was all truly 'radio gold'.

As for the game, I think the best thing that can be said about it is it knocks off another fixture we have to fulfill before this season can finally be put to bed.

Less than 2,600 people, in the entire ground, bothered to show up to see our visit to Rochdale.
We've had more than that in the Jimmy Seed stand, purely for away supporters on numerous occasions this season.
We can't blame resources for our current predicament.

I just find myself shaking my head when I think about our beloved Charlton at the moment.

Paul Benson sounded as if he was unlucky not to score when he came on and poor Nathan Ecclestone must be wondering why he's only used in the final quarter of games.

Three points from a possible thirty three is an awful record.
Losing to yet another side for the first time in our league history just adds to the feeling of gloom.

The Charlton performance sounded to be at least good enough for a draw but again, the luck went against us and we ended the evening pointless.

Every game from here on is rather pointless too.
We are lucky to have already gained enough wins and draws to avoid a humiliating tumble into tier 4.

While grasping at straws, that at least is some comfort.

So, the O's on Saturday.
Surely, SURELY, this run without a win must end soon.
Will it be Leyton Orient who are the first team since Peterborough on 12th February to fail in their attempts to take points from us?

I really, really hope so.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Sad News.

I received an email from Ken Jennings at CAFC Picks this evening, concerning Paul Weaver, known to many of us as Charlton North Downs.
Paul tragically had a fatal heart attack, playing tennis in February.
Paul's sister Carol contacted Ken to let it be known in the Charlton Athletic community of his untimely death.

I met Paul quite a few times in the Rose of Denmark. I even sat next to him at Legends in the North stand for a meal before a game where he was good company.
Paul loved his tennis. He often seemed to be trying to fit in a game before heading to the Valley.
Whenever I saw him, he seemed to be wearing a red Fred Perry tennis polo.

Sadly, I think the last time I saw him was when Charlton were in the Championship.
He was leaving the East stand with only a few minutes of play remaining but paused as Charlton were attacking.
He turned away in disgust as Jerome Thomas shanked what seemed an easy chance.

I don't believe I saw him again.
I shall remember him as a lovely man.


Stiff Little Fingers.

I've woken up this morning, - (is it still morning?) with a head that feels like it's been kicked around the bedroom all night.

Last night I was at the Forum, Kentish Town for Stiff Little Fingers.

It was bloody marvellous.

There were plenty of people present who must remember SLF from their early days but it was also pleasing to see some young shavers who were busy making mischief down at the front.

Personally, I lasted about 10 minutes before retiring to the 'Old Farts Balcony' upstairs.

Fifteen or twenty years ago, (and the rest!), I'd have been appalled at my future self, questioning how I could fully believe I was part of the experience if I wasn't crushed against some beery Irishman all night.

Unfortunately, modern me is very happy to see the surging, swaying crowds but nowadays I'm just not so keen on the inevitable sharing of body parts.

*(I'm still slightly traumatised from spending a whole Jesus & Mary Chain show with some blokes long sweaty hair in my mouth back in 1989).

If you know SLF then it was more of the same, though I'd add that the band seemed to be really enjoying themselves last night.
Some shows are obviously better than others but last night was definitely one of the best I've seen.

short clip here

Thanks Fingers.
Same time next year I hope.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Much Better!

Charlton Athletic 1 - Southampton 1.


Sometimes a draw feels like a loss and sometimes it feels like a win.

Tonight, mostly due to the appalling performances preceding it, a draw most certainly feels like a win.

It actually feels like an absolute humdinger of a win with added cream on top.

Southampton were very strong going forwards but Charlton managed to keep them out without too many problems.
Reaching half time with the score still 0-0 felt like a significant mile stone.

Andy D'Urso was making his usual erratic decisions but ultimately, Charlton were still masters of their own destiny.

Radhi Jaidi scored a fantastic opening goal from a corner, though there was a bad taste in many Addick's mouths due to the build up.
Parrett had gone down injured so the ball had been hoofed out of play.

Semedo and Harding had a long 'chat' in front of the East stand, the outcome being Harding didn't feel he should give the ball back to Charlton.

The East stand booed Harding but he threw it forward for his team mates to attack.

There was still plenty to do but the fact is, Charlton never recovered possession before the ball went for a corner and the goal.

The next turning point was Llera's effort that may or may not have crossed the line.

My initial reaction was it did not but the Saints players did look a little sheepish and Llera seemed very, very sure.

D'Urso didn't give the goal anyway so it looked as if Charlton were going to be gallant losers until very late on.

Parrett showed his Spurs pedigree and hooked a sublime ball over the defenders for BWP to beat Davis in a one on one.

Wright Phillips had looked very under the weather for most of the game. He ran as if he was carrying an injury or saving himself. He looked shattered from the first few minutes of the game.

All that means nothing of course as he's on the pitch to score and that he did, when his chance arrived.

With around 15 minutes to go, Ecclestone replaced Waggy and the Charlton tempo stepped up almost instantly.
Surely it's time for Nathan to be included earlier or get a start?

The game ended with all 4 corners of the ground bellowing encouragement at the pitch.

Much better than the poisonous atmosphere of many recent games.

How refreshing.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A New Low?

Dagenham & Redbridge 2 - Charlton Athletic 1.

In a long and painful series of downwards steps, covering the last 5 years or so, yesterday really did feel like rock bottom.

Rather worryingly, it might not be 'the bottom' but the opposition, coupled with our own complete capitulation added together to form a rather bleak picture.

Dagenham were good value for their win. 
A one goal advantage tells little of the story.

Anybody who wasn't there would probably look at the result and assume the Daggers had managed to snatch a victory.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

I really needed to forget about Charlton Athletic last night.
I went to a birthday party but unfortunately I was fielding questions all evening about the decline of our club.
If losing to Dagenham wasn't bad enough, receiving sympathy from West Ham and Crystal Palace supporters just rubbed salt into the wounds.

I was probably one of the very few Charlton supporters who managed to enjoy themselves yesterday.

I was lucky enough to be a guest of Simon and Vicarage Field Barking, one of the sponsors of the Daggers.

The day started off swimmingly, meeting ex blogger Frankie Valley outside the Rose of Denmark on Woolwich Road before we were driven over to Essex by Simon.
The sun was shining, my Oakleys were having their first outing of the year and the company was good.
Simon, FV, myself and JB found plenty to laugh about and we were looking forward to a good day out.

We parked up next to the players cars and wandered inside, pausing briefly to pass a few words with Ketts from Dr Kish.

I've been lucky enough to be invited by Simon to match days at Dagenham on previous occasions but this was the first time I really 'cared' about the result.

If only my interest was writing reviews of catering or hospitality.
I'd be handing out the awards right, left and centre to Dagenham.

We were treated to a sumptuous carvery of roast beef with all the trimmings and apple pie to follow.
I've eaten at 'Legends' at the Valley and to be honest, this was far better, even if you don't get escorted to your table by an ex player or get the chance to have a wee next to them in the Gents*.

*FV and Garry Nelson.

There was plenty of local interest in the Spurs -West Ham game being played as we ate. The game was being shown on large screens.
A very tanned 'celebrity' Charlton fan Karl Howman was sat at the next table, chatting amiably with Peter Varney.

We were treated really, really well.
Even after it became known that I am a Charlton season ticket holder, people couldn't have been friendlier.

The Daggers are a club it would be easy to fall in love with.

They are a 'real' club. Part of their local community, surrounded geographically by their supposed betters who have lost what it means to be a proper football club, and not just a business feeding ridiculous amounts of money to the agents of foreign sulk merchants with attitude problems.

I was having a fine day.
The world was a great place to be.
Then we had to take our places to witness the game.

Despite the very, very poor form, lack of public transport and the general consensus that Bournemouth next week is going to be the 'big' day out, Charlton sold out the away section.
I was surprised.

 There was even a small over flow section for those mad people who had turned up and paid on the day.

The game started with the Daggers battering Charlton.
They could have scored with less than a minute on the clock but Worner blocked well from a hard shot.

Dagenham dropped the tempo after 5 or 6 minutes and Charlton started stroking the ball about a little.
This was really the time when we needed to score but there were very few clear cut chances, despite dominating possession.

Against the run of play, Jon Nurse seemed to have an eternity to pick his spot for the opening goal.
He had time to take 3 or 4 touches such was the lack of enthusiasm from our defenders.
He didn't need them and sent in a rasping shot beyond Worner's despairing dive.

At 1-0 up, the Daggers were lifted, their crowd woke up and the fragile confidence of the Charlton players flooded out of them.

At half time, we retired to our coffee and pastries and wondered how Charlton were going to attack the second half.
Our players had been booed off the pitch and Powell was not exempt from the fans blame.

I was clinging to the hope that we were going to pull out a fairly decent 45 minutes to cover up the rubbish first period.

As it turned out, it actually got worse.

Our seats were directly behind the away team dug out.
My seat at the Valley is in the East stand and prior to that it was in the North and then Upper North.

I've not had much opportunity to listen in on the 'bon mots' of those supposedly commanding events from pitch side.

On the evidence of yesterday, to make it in football you need a speech impediment and the ability to throw random shapes with your hands and arms.

Chris Powell seemed to favour the loud utterance of "Gwooooowarra", while pushing his right hand forwards and spreading his fingers.
FV insisted Powell was conducting his instructions in Swedish.
He may well have been for all the use they were to anybody who uses English to get by.

The Daggers bench were marginally better.
At least I recognised most of the words, even if their combination was alien to those of us who sometimes read a book.
"Oy Nuuurseee! Pull it back again sideways as ya go forwards round the edge!"


Chris Powell started off fairly animated on the sidelines but long gone is that infectious smile and sharp suit.
He looked as if he was trying to blend in and wore a beanie hat pulled down low and a scruffy tracksuit with puffy jacket.

After the second goal, (richly deserved again by Dagenham), Powell stood stock still and looked as if he really didn't know what to do.

We had all witnessed Danny Green double the home team's advantage without being hindered by our defence.

He took the goal well but he again, was given the time to steady himself.

We didn't hear much more from Chris Powell for the rest of the match.

He knew the game was up. We all knew the game was up. Nobody inside the ground even remotely believed Charlton were capable of mounting a comeback.
Our already fragile players were now being booed, told they weren't fit to wear the shirt and ridiculed by their own supporters.
Such was their lack of application they deserved no less.

Most worrying was when Scott Wagstaff was substituted.
Alan Mac was having a complete 'game to forget' so when a substitution was made, we all assumed he would be making way.
Reid came on and Waggy came off.

"You don't know what you're doing!" came the chant from the Charlton supporters.

I hate to agree with the sentiment but Powell was starting to look a little out of his depth.

Eventually, to loud cheers, McCormack was replaced by Ecclestone but it was too little, too late.

Those West Ham/ Daggers supporters in the ground were pleased to witness our, (on loan from the Hamsters), Nouble score a tap in with seconds to go.
Despite where I was sitting and the company I was keeping I still stood up to cheer but the goal meant nothing.

The final whistle blew and there was a bit off 'afters' involving a few players in front of the dugouts.
It's a shame nobody wearing the blue shirt showed such passion while the game was in progress.
Powell stood and waited for it to calm down before offering his hand to the Daggers staff.

The team left the pitch to cat calls and jeers.

Casual Rating.

A fantastic day out, only spoiled by a bit of football.
Charlton keep doing this to us.
If I was enjoying a book as much as I'm enjoying following Charlton I'd have binned it.

As supporters, we are like a battered wife who keeps thinking their husband will change.
We love them and keep coming back for more, despite all evidence hinting at future disappointments.

I know in my heart of hearts I'm still going to keep chugging along, supporting the team and oddly, being proud of the club, even if the present situation is awful to witness.

Ross Worner is receiving the Lacoste polo this time due to stopping the first minute effort.
If that had gone in, heads would have dropped sooner and a 6-0 tonking would have been on the cards.

Take your pick for the Primark novelty slogan tee shirt. More or less anybody in blue under performed.

*** I'd like so say a huge thanks to Simon for another great day out at a fantastic, friendly, family club.
Good luck to the Daggers for the rest of the season.

If you are feeling low about our beloved club, look at this picture and believe things can get better.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Bee Movie.

Charlton Athletic 0 Brentford 1.

I've seen this movie before.
Since last Summer I've seen it three times now and each time I've left disappointed.

I don't want to see you again for a while.
You've turned into a bit of a bogey team for the Addicks.

Sometimes everything seems to go your way.
You rock up to a stadium nearly 4 times the size of your own and despite bringing a very poor number of supporters, (considering the easy journey), manage to catch the home team in the middle of a colossal slump.
 The home support are almost mute due to the recent appalling football on offer and the low interest your team will generate as visitors.
Needless to say, your supporters are the only ones to be heard for huge periods of the game.

Throughout the whole of the first half, you don't have a single effort of note on goal and witness the home team squander some good chances.

In the second half, the home team seem to up their game for a few periods and hit the cross bar, miss more good chances, have a few goal mouth scrambles and finally when it seems the ball is destined for your net, your 'keeper pulls off a fantastic save.

You have still not made the home goalkeeper earn his money as the game enters the final, 'next goal's the winner' few minutes.
You win a few corners and despite there seeming to be enough defenders to deal with your late effort, the ball ends up in the back of the home net.

The poor crowd of well below 15,000 evaporate into the South East London evening leaving you to wonder at the beauty and majesty of days like these.

Brentford supporters, these are the days that remind you why you follow your team.

Charlton supporters, these are the days when you question why you keep coming back for more, only to be repeatedly kicked in the knackers.

Chris Powell has a huge job to do.
The job is not to try and get the team up to the (now a pipe dream), Play Off positions. The job is merely to maintain his dignity while his Charlton Athletic empire crumbles like a pack of cards.

Powell is very lucky to find himself held in such high regard by all at Charlton.
Anybody else would have been chased out by now.

In general, the crowd are still supportive of him though the team are very, very poor and awful to watch. Powell is just about keeping his head above water with the crowd.
The boos that were quite obviously personally directed at Parky, do seem to be being shared out amongst the team for now.

We all love Chris Powell and he will always be a Charlton legend.
Unfortunately, the goodwill vouchers are being used up fast.

I just want to get to the end of the season, pack it all away and start again, hopefully with CP's own players, playing a system they are willing and capable of following.

Insanity is trying the same thing time and time again and expecting a different result.
Perhaps CP needs to be reminded of this particular platitude?

A Casual Rating.
A poor game, contested by two poor teams.
Late on, if it had been a boxing match, Charlton would have won it on points but unfortunately, there was a final round knock out blow to hand the visitors the victory.

Brentford must hardly be able to believe it.
How could they win it by doing so little?
How could Charlton be so poor?

Nobody is getting the Lacoste polo this time though an honourable mention must go to Chris Solly who came back into the side as a second half substitute.
He made some good challenges and looks to be one for the future, if he can stay injury free.

I'm awarding myself the Primark novelty slogan tee shirt.
You daft plum.
Earlier today, I was wandering around a really pleasant market town in Hampshire, looking at the Saturday farmers market, purchasing some cheese and other artisan style products.
It would have been so easy to have stayed there and enjoyed the afternoon sunshine, maybe with a few beers sat outside a country pub.

Of course, I got in my car and hared back home to London and raced to the Valley.

As I wrote earlier, I've seen all this before.
I've learned nothing.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Got to BEE there

It's home to the Bees of Brentford tomorrow.

Last Friday night I was feeling really down cast about the fortunes of our beloved Charlton Athletic.
My mood was not helped by being ribbed most of the evening by 'supporters' of other teams.
We were rubbish and I was constantly being told as much by my 'amusing' friends.

Last Saturday we played Tranmere and I was very close to going home at half time.
 I hung in there and was rewarded with a much better second half.

Living within a short walk of the Valley means I can leave home at 2:40pm and still make kick off with time to spare.

Every game can be a last minute decision and perhaps because of this, last week I still wasn't sure if I was going to attend until less than an hour before the referee blew to commence the game.

Despite the less than impressive fare being offered by our team, I still show up.
I have this nagging belief that should I stay away, I'd miss the cracker of all games and have to explain to people for ever and a day that despite having a season ticket, I chose to say no to 'that' never to be forgotten game.
Pathetic isn't it?

Tomorrow, I will be awaking around 60 miles from home.
I've got some tasks to do in the morning and then I'm going to bust a gut, hoping to be back in SE London in time for our game at the Valley.

It's a strange world isn't it?
 I have a fantastic excuse for not making it tomorrow, yet I'll be trying everything I can to get to Charlton.
 Last week, I was already just around the corner and could barely drag myself off the sofa.

I'm looking forward to seeing the impact of our new loans, (oddly no defender) and who knows, this could be the game when it all clicks into place.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, (part 102)

Despicable Franchise 2 - Charlton Athletic 0.
Being a Charlton supporter has never been one of the smartest decisions for anybody wanting an easy life.

Personally, I'd consider it a bit of a character flaw if I felt I had to align myself with regular success when choosing to follow 'my' team.
Surely it'd just be making up for the gaps in my own life if I had to gain reflected glory from one of the Sky heavyweights?

It'd be so easy to follow one of those teams who are always on television, never have to think about relegation and only worry about missing out on the Premier League title or not winning any silverware for a few years.

But we don't do we?

We follow Charlton Athletic and most of us are in it for the long haul.

Tonight I must admit I wasn't at Milton Keynes.
I followed the game using the CAFC player online and received regular messages from Crispy.

My heart was at the Moo Camp but my attentions were being grabbed by Arsenal playing Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

While Arsenal were bowing out of Europe against one of the best, (if not the best), passing teams in the world, Charlton were relinquishing any realistic chances of promotion to the Championship.
..........against MK sodding Dons.
In a crap league, against crap players.

Tomorrow I'll be at work and the talk will all be about how there's no shame in losing to the best and the Arsenal supporters on our staff will know there are some crumbs of comfort to be had.

I can't even begin to see any positives from Charlton's current position.

The stark facts are we lost, didn't deserve anything, created nothing and had one of our few fit forwards (correctly) red carded for the second time this season.
The franchise fully deserved their victory.

I went for a bath at full time to soak and have a bit of a sulk.

I usually stream music around my home and tonight was no different.
As I lay back, the warm water lapping over my chest the first tune randomly generated was by The Smiths.

I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour 
But heaven knows I'm miserable now.

(See you on Saturday)

Monday, 7 March 2011

A tale of two Saturdays.

This was the view from the East stand, as we were about to kick off against Tranmere Rovers last Saturday.

This picture was taken about 5 minutes before kick off at the previous comparable home game, (held on a Saturday), against Exeter.

How soon do you think we will be witnessing regular home crowds in excess of 20,000 again?
Personally, I'm aiming for 2015.

Very recently, I must admit I was disappointed when our crowds dropped below 18,000. 
Only a few short years ago nearly every home league game was a near 27,000 sell out.
Now I'm hearing Big Dave Lockwood announcing a crowd of 14,015 and commenting "No chance, it's closer to 7 or 8,000."

Our team need to start winning soon to get that 'feelgood feeling' back or next season 14,000 might seem like a pretty good gate.
The die hards will still show up but a half full Valley is not good for generating the atmosphere we all enjoy.

Where better to start winning than everybody's least favourite franchise, MK Dons?

Come on you Reds!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Tranmere Time Team.

Charlton Athletic 1 - Tranmere Rovers 1.
First the positives.
I left the Valley this evening feeling quite passionate about what I had just witnessed. 
I cared. 
I'd got my Charlton mojo back.

The first half today was as dire as anything I have witnessed at the Valley, or indeed, anywhere else while watching Charlton.
Our team were clueless and mistakes were rife across all areas of the pitch.

Tranmere took the lead after a terrible Francis error let Enoch Showunmi in on goal to score easily.
I've tried to blank out that first half but if I check back on my texts and tweets I can recall Elliott nearly throwing the ball into his own net and late on, Paul Benson heading over the bar.

Despite what the television highlights might show, what was really going on was the most appalling 'tactics' I've seen in ages by an opposing team.

Tranmere came expecting a draw, or possibly a win if they fluked a goal to defend.
They began time wasting with less than TEN minutes of the first half having been played, falling to the floor theatrically and killing the game whenever possible.

Their way of playing can be labelled quite easily.
If they are your team, you'd say they are perhaps wily, professional or adept at gamesmanship.
For everybody else it's known as cheating.

How long does it take to perform a goal kick, throw in or free kick?
If you play for Tranmere, you could easily take up nearly a minute for each of these.

The players had obviously been instructed to get the multi ball system cancelled by the referee. They walked away from balls thrown to them, then picked up a second ball ensuring there were 2 balls on the pitch. This happened so often our inept referee was eventually forced to act in their favour.

At half time, I was very close to heading home.
As ever, some misguided feelings of loyalty / stupidity kicked in and I remained in a rather glum East stand.

The second period was much better from a Charlton perspective. 
Most of the game was played in the Tranmere half but there was a general feeling we were playing not only against the Tranmere divers but also Ray Charles and David Blunkett wearing the officials uniforms.

Blunkett (in front of the East stand), had managed to perfect a 'Hoxton fin' style ridiculous haircut but found it impossible to notice regular pushes in the back or on one memorable occassion, an elbow in the rear of Alan Mac's head, despite it occurring only a few feet in front of him.

Charlton reached parity through a rocket style free kick from big Mig Llera.
 It seemed to change direction on the way into the back of the net but it was always going in, regardless of the attentions of the Tranmere defenders.

I guessed only one team were going to push on and win it at that stage. Charlton had the momentum and the sparse crowd woke up.

We'd not factored in the time wasting and crud officials though.

It sounds like the moaning of a disgruntled supporter who only sees what he wants to see but on another day, Charlton would have had two penalties, possibly three.

Challenges, (or attempted shirt removal in one case and a handball in another) that most certainly would have been given as a foul elsewhere on the pitch were waved away by our hapless man in black.

In truth, it really shouldn't have mattered though as there was one moment, with only a couple of minutes left to play, where the game should have been put to bed.

An in swinging cross from the right, managed to elude three on rushing Charlton players who all seemed to be just the thickness of their boot leather from the glancing touch over the line.

I witnessed a Tranmere defender crossing himself and glancing to the heavens such was their good fortune.

So, a point is gained but it really should have been 3 based on our second half performance, or zero based on our first.

The announced attendance of 14,015 is nowhere near the number of people who actually put their bum on a seat. Those who did come along hopefully don't feel as downbeat as they did after Tuesday.
Have they seen enough to bring them back next week?

Time will tell.

A Casual Rating.
Tranmere should be ashamed of themselves. 
They have zoomed to the top of my most hated teams list.
I've never really had a 'list' before so the piece of paper only has one name on it but you get my point.

Tranmere Rovers. What a bunch of cheats.

Miguel Llera is claiming the Lacoste polo after today's game. He was fairly solid at the back, (he did lose possession in a rather dangerous position once but everything is relative - he only did it once!).
He's been spending match days elsewhere lately so it was great to see him come back and cap his performance with a goal.
I've seen Mig more times lately in Sainsbury's on the peninsula than I have on the Valley pitch.
Welcome back Mig. 
Ref Watch.
What. A. Load. Of. Rubbish.
A charitable 1/10 for his 'performance'.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Charlton Athletic 1- Carlisle United 3.

Well that was a let down.

I was stuck at a meeting this evening.

Eventually, I was able to race out, dive into my car, drive as fast as the traffic would allow, park the car outside my home in such haste it looked as if Stevie Wonder had been given the job, pick up my season ticket and then hare off on foot towards the Valley.

I was really up for it and looking forward to witnessing Charlton getting back on track after 3 defeats.

I arrived soon after kick off.

Early on, Charlton looked fluent and full of purpose.
Soon, deservedly, the team went 1-0 up from a well taken goal by BWP after some good work from Nathan Eccleston.
It was the first, first half goal Charlton have scored in the Chris Powell era.
Surely Charlton would push on to victory?

If only I'd gone home then.
For the rest of the evening I became progressively more hungry, cold and irritated by the easy loss of possession and lack of ideas from our side.

A flukey deflected equaliser was a lucky break for Carlisle but after that, they seemed to grow in confidence while Charlton resorted to hoofing it up to our forwards who rarely looked threatening.

It is plain to see we have an aged defensive spine who are being exposed time and time again by our midfield. The forwards should be scoring more but our real problem is we don't have a midfield general to command our attacking moves and help marshall the defensive movements.

Carlisle scored 2 more goals, - it could have been much worse.

I'm off for some soup and maybe I'll forget about a thoroughly miserable evening.

A Casual Rating.

Do you know what? I really can't be bothered.
Thousands of people pulled up trees to be at the Valley this evening but most of them will be wishing they hadn't bothered.
4 losses on the bounce now.

It's looking grim.