Sunday, 8 January 2012

Beaten But Not Downhearted.

The team clap the crowd, the crowd clap the team.

Yesterday was never about a fixture we expected to win.
The game was an exercise to see how far behind our set of players are, when matched against those in the top division.

Fulham gave Chris Powell the hugest of compliments by playing their strongest side.

The Cottagers were so much better than Charlton, it would have taken a bizarre sequence of fluke goals and dodgy penalties for our plucky lads to get anything out of the game.

As it turned out, Fulham were the recipients of 2 goals coming from wicked deflections and they managed to get their own 'contentious' penalty.

When I think back to yesterday, I won't be remembering the final score that most of the media have labelled 'flattering' to Fulham.
4-0 sounds like a rout.
It most certainly was not.

I'll be remembering the 7000 Addicks all bellowing for 90 minutes, without cease, even when we had just conceded.
I'll remember the bobbing heads as our supporters bounced on the spot, time and time again.
I'll remember the way the home support carried on their sponsored silence, even after they'd scored.
I'll remember the way the loud speakers played (crud) music into our section, trying to drown us out.
I'll remember the sea of smiles, everyone was having a good time.

Mostly I'll remember the 20 minute period in the second half when the score was 1-0 and the tier 3 boys were stroking the ball about, matching the Premier League hotshots.

The Fulham 'keeper Stockdale was immense.
He pulled off 3 remarkable saves to deny Danny Green, BWP and Kermorgant.

With a little fortune, any of those chances may have sent the visitors into raptures over what would surely be merely a consolation goal.

Martin Jol paid Chris Powell another compliment by bringing on Damien Duff late on.
Fulham instantly were a yard quicker and every movement forward looked dangerous.

The headlines today are all about how Clint Dempsey scored a hat trick to knock out league one opposition.

I like Dempsey.
He doesn't seem to be one of those big headed, big night out, WAG chasing immatures the Premier league is awash with.

He took his goals well but I'm sorry Clint, it wasn't in the least bit important.
Well done on the win but it's just a side affair to what's really important to us.

Some unkind Fulham supporters have tried to say that yesterday was our 'cup final'.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, it was a fun day out but we are Charlton.
Why would we be excited about visiting a ground that may be Premier League, but is actually not as good as The Valley?

I think I was far more excited, and it was also more 'important', when Huddersfield came to the Valley.
I can't expect a Fulham supporter to understand.

A Casual Rating.
Phil Dowd may get a lot of bad press but I thought he refereed well yesterday.
He was certainly better than the tier 3 officials we have to put up with.
The penalty was marginal to say the least but it's just the kind of decision we see given on MOTD every week, as players 'win' penalties, regardless of the intentions of the defenders.

The Fulham crowd were very, (ahem), sedate.
Yes we all crowed about how they were poor supporters etc etc but I can also remember teams from lower down the food chain shipping up at the Valley, when we were in the Premier League, and feeling quite underwhelmed.
It took quite a bit of a push to get me going and I assume the Fulham fans were feeling much the same.

My only regret about yesterday is that before the game, while enjoying some fine CAMRA beers in The Bricklayers Arms in the company of Crispy, Jim and Al, I predicted a 4-0 reversal.

Somehow, by the time we'd walked from Putney to the ground, my bet had become Chris Solly to score the final goal.

Solly was my MOM.
He looked comfortable for most of the game.
He's certainly one for the future.

The Bricklayers is a fine pub and we retired there after the game to put the world to rights.
I've no idea what I was drinking as more and more beers ran out but I didn't have a single bad one.

It's back to the real job now.

The workout yesterday was just the perfect leg stretcher for Hillsborough next weekend.


Anonymous said...

A fair assessment from a Charlton perspective.

Of course I have to take issue with you about The Valley being better than our fine home but I also admit many of your crowd will have been to bigger, and fuller places in the recent past.

Good luck for the rest of the season.
I hope you get promoted.
Just leave your nasty element at home next time you come to the Cottage please.

Marco. said...

I know you probably won't believe me but I neither saw, or heard, anything remotely nasty going on.
I'm not saying nothing happened, I'm saying the game had been over many hours before I became aware that some Fulham supporters had been unimpressed with what they'd seen.

Anonymous said...

I never saw anything untoward either, I was in the spotted horse a few hours before and after the game. There were a few fat boys about though!

Let's hope we get more luck next week when the real stuff is back to the fore.

Our cup final......yeah right!...dream on fellas.

Anonymous said...

I spoke to a Fulham season ticket holder,who very generously said that we played better than some premier teams he has seen at home this season. Fair play to him.COYA