Charlton Athletic 2 - Franchise 1.
It was a happy St. Valentine's Day for the Charlton supporters who received a pass to attend the game.
After two weeks without action, and that last game being a home draw, it was good to get back to winning ways.
Charlton won the game due to two moments of lunacy from Franchise players.
Mackenzie had already had a chat with the referee, leading to a yellow card, for going in excessively hard while attempting to win a header.
Most intelligent players would have taken it easy for a while and tried to keep their head down after the yellow.
Mackenzie chose to completely self destruct.
Franchise cleared the ball from their penalty area but Mackenzie decided to carry on playing the hard man towards Kermorgant.
He only has himself to blame.
He leaned forward and motioned to headbutt the Frenchman.
Kermorgant stayed on his feet but the damage was done.
(I can only imagine the reaction and rolling on the floor if it had been Nicky Bailey in big Yann's position!)
I'm not sure why but I hadn't followed the ball and saw it all as clear as day.
I was very surprised the referee had witnessed it but amazingly he did!
A red card and a penalty followed.
Only a few moments later, Danny Green absolutely leathered the ball from around 40 yards out.
It hit the underside of the cross bar, and a goal mouth scramble finished with Alan Smith bringing down Jackson, resulting in penalty number two.
Jackson tried the other side of the goal with the same outcome.
Unfortunately, 2-0 up against ten men meant that complacency spread like a virus through the Charlton side after the break.
The normally rock solid Morrison miscued time and again, players gave away possession and the simple things weren't done well.
Charlton were poor but good enough to win the game, despite Bowditch scoring a consolation goal with only 3 minutes to go.
Again, I felt Hamer may have stopped it but in fairness, he did manage a point blank save in the first half.
Had the visitors goal come sooner, it would have been a bit more of an anxious end to the evening.
A poor game that will soon be forgotten but the 3 points are very useful towards the ultimate prize of promotion.
A Casual Rating.
A low crowd which just goes to prove either
a) how romantic Charlton supporters are or
b) how under the thumb Charlton supporters are.
Franchise brought very few supporters but those that came seemed to be having fun, using the huge space available in the Jimmy Seed to do a conga and have a bit of a disco.
The Charlton support weren't really bothered, other than when the Franchise keeper appeared to carry the ball over his line.
The North Upper obviously weren't sure what had happened and needed things clarifying, so they chanted towards the linesman:
"Lino, Lino, your account?"
.... or something like that.
There were some average displays this evening but Danny Green is receiving the Lacoste polo, purely for his magnificent long range effort.
Skip Jackson can have one too for keeping his cool and scoring both of the penalties.
Referee Stroud could have given two penalties before he finally got around to awarding the first one.
I was impressed when he spotted the off the ball shenanigans.
We've certainly had worse this season.
I'll give him 7/10.
Franchise can't complain about the penalty decisions.
The league table certainly makes good reading just now.