Saturday, 31 December 2011

End of the Year Show.

Leyton Orient 1 - Charlton Athletic 0.

The turning point this evening was most certainly the sending off of Ben Hamer.
Orient are a decent mid table side but no great shakes. Had Charlton managed to keep 11 players on the pitch, I doubt if the O's would have gained more than a point - though they deserved their win.

From my view, admittedly maybe a little fuzzy due to a Jack Daniels haze, the sending off seemed very harsh.
I thought the ball had hit our keeper somewhere between the chest and armpit but the referee seemed to be very sure Hamer had handled it and the rules say he had to go.

Charlton then had to play 85 minutes, plus stoppage time, with only ten men.
Waggy was withdrawn and Sullivan came on between the sticks.

Sullivan was most unfortunate to concede when Orient scored.
(Ex CAFC) Spring hit a ball that was unlikely to trouble the goal until it deflected off Taylor and ended up turning into the most perfect dipping shot.

From that moment on, a combination of solid Orient defending and fairly homerish officiating meant Charlton were heading for only the second defeat of the season.
Having said that, Orient had the ball in the net again but the linesman had his flag up for offside. It looked extremely tight from our angle.

Charlton really went for it in the final 20 minutes and could have scored two or three.
Orient kept one off the line that already had most of us celebrating but it wasn't to be.
2000 of us roared the team on towards what we hoped would be a big finish but the ball just wouldn't go in.

It is a shame the final game of the year was ruined by a sending off so early on but I can't say our team didn't give their best.

To have reached the New Year and only lose twice is remarkable, especially as both of the reversals were 1-0 away defeats due to savage deflections.

I can't help feeling positive about our chances for promotion in 2012.
Well done Leyton Orient tonight but come May, hopefully it'll be the mighty Addicks who'll be celebrating.

One final thing to say is a big thanks to all the people who have taken the time to read my notes on here. Other than a few Oldham and Tranmere supporters most of the comments have been fair, even if people haven't agreed with me.

A healthy and prosperous New Year to everybody, Charlton supporters or otherwise.

Live, Love, Laugh and be Happy.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Catching Up.

We are now deep into the time of year when I'm ashamed to say, I actually lose track of what day of the week it is.

I'm now back home again after a really pleasant couple of days with the family down at Brighton.

Perhaps as I'm only ever a visitor to the town, rather than a resident, I always think of Brighton as a 'good times' destination.
Having family living there just adds to it being a place I particularly enjoy.

Brighton is often described as 'London-on-Sea' but I feel that's doing it a disservice.
It's far more laid back than London and I'm sure the residents are proud of their town, without having it latched onto somewhere else to give it a label.

I love the way Brighton slopes down to the seafront and I'm particularly fond of the way many homes have been painted rich colours.
Mellow Yellow?

Pink Palace?

Blue Hotel?

We all had a lovely time just flopping out, (though my sister probably didn't feel quite so relaxed as she slaved away in the kitchen).

My nephew Jack and niece Lily occasionally came up for air. Jack has recently discovered the Tintin books and Lily was proving how artistic she is on her DS 'Let's Draw' game.

My other niece Daisy, was keeping a regular eye on YouTube to see if anybody else had viewed 'her' video.

I'm very proud to announce we have a (super) model in the family as she is the 'star' of a music video by Brighton band, Running Numbers.

Feel free to watch her in action here- if only to make her happy.
She's the pretty girl who shows up as the music changes around 1.50 and is wearing the cardigan 4 sizes too big for her.

I quite like the tune and ended up buying it on iTunes -(59p cheap at the moment!)
It reminded me a little of a band I used to enjoy called Saint Etienne though I'm probably way off the mark.

While on the South coast, I found out that age has most certainly caught up with me.
 I will never be the master of the Michael Jackson Dance Experience on the wii.
Just Beat It!

Today, despite my better judgement, we ended up doing the Bluewater shuffle.
Shopping centres at this time of year are pretty hellish but we went to have a look at the Christmas in New York currently on at the event space called 'Glow'.

It was really well done and worth a 10 minute stroll, though we didn't spend any money on the skating, tube sledging, hot dogs etc.

Indoor snow


Never seen South of the River

I'm now just waiting for NYE, which will hopefully start with a bang as we head over the Thames to East London for our visit to Leyton Orient.

Three points would be a lovely way to see out 2011.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas Gifts From Sheffield.

Yeovil Town 2 - Charlton Athletic 3.

Christmas eh?
It's the season for 'comfort and joy'.

I was most certainly very comfortable, though I wasn't really very joyful as today's game hit the 90th minute.

Sheffield Wednesday were winning at Walsall and Charlton were drawing away at Yeovil.

While following the game on an iPhone app broadcasting BBC Radio London, I was physically at my sister's home in Brighton with all the family but mentally in the South West, along with around 1000 other Addicks.

By the end of injury time, Charlton had won 3-2 and the Wednesdays had lost 2-1, having shipped a remarkable two goals during their own added on time!

 Charlton are now 8 points clear at the top of the league.

I'm thoroughly looking forward to the trip across the river on New Years Eve to visit Leyton Orient.

Happy Days.
Happy Christmas.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Oldham Get What They Came For.

Charlton Athletic 1- Oldham Athletic 1.

Despite the general euphoria at being top of the league and the feeling we should be beating 'these sort of teams', my pre match prediction was a draw.

I obviously wanted a win but the Oldham team never even dreamed of the possibility. They'd come for a point.

Recent games involving Oldham at the Valley have seen them 'parking the bus' as pundits like to call it.

It wasn't a good game from a Charlton perspective.
There were enough chances to win handsomely but Oldham stayed solid and played to their strengths.

Today, Oldham didn't quite hit the heady heights, (or depths) of 2 seasons ago but they did try to kill the game at every opportunity.
They followed the example of their rather unpleasant manager in his playing days; niggling fouls, kicking the ball away, time wasting and attempting to 'do a job'.

They did it.
Only after Darrel Russell's fine headed debut Charlton goal did Oldham show the kind of team they could be. They moved forward and made a few attempts on goal.

Taylor managed to block a shot but he looked to have hurt himself in the process.
He wasn't moving well and it surely was no coincidence that Oldham scored a few moments later.

With that, Oldham reverted to the most tragic levels of time wasting

A weak referee let Oldham, especially their 'keeper, take as much time as he wanted.
Throw ins took an eternity, all without official reproach.

Due to Huddersfield drawing 4-4 at Sheffield Wednesday, everything stays the same at the top of the table.
We are still 5 points clear.

All teams doing well have little stutters on their way. We are lucky that Stevenage aside, our stutters have still gained us a point.

The less said about the officials the better.
They were booed from the pitch and they deserved every single part of it.
The East stand linesman made some shocking decisions and the referee bottled a very obvious yellow card when he realised it would result in a sending off.

Onwards and upwards.
Top of the league at Christmas and despite the evidence of today, playing good football.
I'll take that.

A Casual Rating.
The Lacoste polo is going to Yann Kermorgant as my Man Of The Match.
For those of us in our 40's, his appearance was reminiscent of Terry Butcher when he refused to lie down, playing on after being patched up again and again.
Well done Kermit.

Morrison also played the hard man when a fierce ball to his face barely made him break stride.

I'd have been off until New Year!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Well Done SCP.

As was expected, (Sir) Chris Powell has been given the League 1 Manager of the Month award for November.

In all honesty, where else was the award going to go?

Winning all games, ending a long 'unbeaten' (sic) run of a challenger in the process, sprinting away from the peloton to carve out a 7 point gap all meant it was a foregone conclusion, at least in this part of the world.

Worries about the Manager of the Month curse can probably be shelved this time too.

Traditionally, a manager wins it when their team have been playing so well, they could be described as over achieving.
Any team who are managing this cunning trick will eventually crash back down to earth and become the regular side they were before.
This is where the curse theory comes in, when in my opinion it is just a natural reversion to the 'way things are'.

With or without the MOM award, I don't think Charlton have been over achieving so far this season.

Chris Powell has been up for the award every time since August. As the team have been doing well all season, I don't see this as being a celebration of one bumper month, it's more of a nod to acknowledge he is in charge of the team with the best record in the league.

Of course, the team may have 'one of those days' against Walsall tomorrow but somehow I doubt it.

The current Charlton squad have belief and momentum, something sadly missing from recent seasons.

An extra cheer must go to Michael Morrison who also received a League 1 'gong'.
He is rapidly becoming one of my favourite players.

Good luck to everyone who is going to, (ahem), Poland tomorrow.


Sunday, 4 December 2011

It's Fulham.

Ball number 64 came out, the Chinese fella misread it as 62 but luckily the safe hands of Jim Rosenthal were there to carry the fumble.

Charlton Athletic are away at Fulham in the 3rd round of the FA cup.

Yesterday I said I fancied an away tie against another London club and that's just what we've ended up with.

It's probably not as exciting a prospect as it might be for the majority of third division sides. Most of us can remember playing Fulham quite regularly only a few years ago.

The 'test' that Chris Powell was hoping for has been handed to him and we'll probably go over there and give them a good game.

I can't imagine many Fulham fans will be rushing to snap up tickets for the visit of Charlton.
(Remember how we all 'forced' ourselves to the Valley for the 3rd round when we were in the Premier League).
It will probably be a raucous day out with Charlton selling as many tickets as we can get.

There's always the, (snigger), 'neutral' section should anybody find themselves without a ticket.

Fulham are on a hiding to nothing. They should win with ease.
If we manage to grab anything from the day it'll be a bonus and if not, there's no shame in losing to a team 2 divisions higher before returning to our real job of trying to win the league.

I'm happy with the way things have turned out.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Always Believing.

Charlton Athletic 2 - Carlisle United 0.

An eminently forgettable first half today at the Valley lead to a much better second.

The opening 45 minutes had the feeling of a pre season friendly against a team who were also trying to get their own side match fit.

Carlisle probably shaded the first period but in all honesty, there was little to get excited about.

The second half was much more uptempo.
Chris Powell must have had a nag at his players over the interval as they seemed much more awake.

Perhaps, like me, they'd had a coffee and along with Powell's stirring words the team made a much better fist of attacking the Cumbrian's goal.

Charlton finally got the ball into the net after some fine follow up play from Morrison.
There was no way he was going to be denied when he crashed the ball into the net at the second attempt.

Carlisle looked beaten from that moment on.
Their chances of gaining a replay looked even less likely when BWP and Kermorgant entered the pitch.

BWP could have scored within seconds of his introduction but the Carlisle keeper made a fine blocking save.

The old stalwart Jason Euell made the game safe as the clock showed 90 minutes.
He seemed to score while slipping and the ball just about trickled over the line.
It counted the same as if he'd thumped the ball in from the halfway line and Charlton were home and dry.

It was good to catch up with chums at the Rose of Denmark before the game.

Today, as well as learning that Chris Powell can 'lift' the side after a poor first half, we also learned that under NO circumstances is the Rose of Denmark to be considered a place to buy fine wines. Or even average wines. Or even wines that can be drunk.

After spending last weekend in Italy drinking readily available 'good stuff', Crispy looked like he was trying to down a glass of vinegar when nursing his glass of red today.

I'm in favour of a nice tasty away tie against another London side, or maybe a home tie against Manchester City in the next round.

It's ball number 64 we have to watch for tomorrow.