Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Joy Of Six.

Charlton Athletic 2 - Leyton Orient 0.

Charlton maintained the 6 point gap over the chasing Northerners this afternoon with a comfortable home win.

Despite being at the top of the league for over 6 months, there don't seem to be very many Addicks enjoying it.

I guess we know there's always a chance there could be an almighty choke at the final stages and we just want to get these games out of the way.

Of course, while we are winning it doesn't matter one jot what those teams below us are doing but we also know that pressure makes everyone behave in different ways. 
Would a Manchester United fan be worried with a six point lead over second place? Of course not. They'd be (sat on their sofa in Surrey) sure of their dominance.

At Charlton it's different. We have seen the most appalling fall from grace over the last 6 years and it just feels odd to have something going right for us.

Today, Charlton were in command for most of the game.

The team seemed keen to erase the memory of last weekends trip to Huddersfield, though the referee seemed equally keen to keep jogging our memories with some rather, (ahem), crowd baiting decisions.

As last week, it really did seem as if the Bloke In Black was quite enjoying being the pantomime villain.

I was amused to find out the referee's name was 'Brown', as that was exactly the shade on the colour chart that was being repeated by everyone around me when mentioning his performance.

Mr. Brown denied two penalty appeals within the first 5 minutes and finally gave a free kick, outside the penalty area on the left.
It was a case of 'Wiggy - Waggy' as Rhoys Wiggins crossed very quickly, bypassing the napping Orient defence for birthday boy Scott Wagstaff to poke home from close range.

The rest of the first half was a series of Charlton pressure, Orient clobbering Kermorgant and the crowd screaming with derision at yet another 'contentious' decision by Brown, or more often waving away appeals to penalise the clattering of our Breton battler. 

We were all up and celebrating when a Stephens corner was sent into the roof of the net by Cort, who's bullet header was unstoppable. 

Brown was the centre of attention again when he disallowed the goal. 
He seemed to be motioning his decision was for a handball but he didn't book anyone which I'd have thought was the normal state of affairs.

In the second half, Orient looked better organised and made a couple of decent efforts on goal.

Kevin Lisbie still looks a pretty good player at this level and Matthew Spring has a decent shot on him and was able to put his foot on the ball to distribute well.

Mooney, the other ex Addick, was woeful and unsurprisingly substituted. 
He may have been trying too hard but nothing he did today came off.
 Mooney remains the only player I've seen, to manage the remarkable achievement of scoring a goal and then to be roundly booed by his own support as he tried to 'stick it' to the crowd while celebrating.


Orient had their own claim to a penalty when a point blank shot was saved by Hamer and then deflected onto an arm but it all happened so quickly there was little anybody could have done to get out of the way.

With the Charlton support starting to get a little jumpy, the final few minutes were much more relaxing after Lee Cook did extremely well to fight back and win possession. He then floated in a perfect cross for Millwall loanee N'Guessan to head home.
Referee Brown could find nothing wrong with this effort and Charlton strolled home as 2-0 winners.

The finishing line is in sight.

Nearly there Addicks fans!

A Casual Rating.
Even though Orient came back into the game much more in the second half, they never really looked like grabbing much from the fixture. 
Charlton looked the better team and unsurprisingly sent the O's packing. 
Orient were very keen on telling everyone they could be the only team to 'do the double' over Charlton this season but without the benefit of a flukey deflected goal and playing against 10 men for 85 minutes, it wasn't to be.

The regularly awarded Lacoste polo isn't going to anybody on the pitch today. 
Sometimes football isn't the most important part of a football day.
I'd like to make the award to those Orient fans who walked to the Valley today to raise money for charity.
Well done to every single one of them.

The Primark novelty slogan t shirt is going to me, for my 'stupidity' in going out and having a fantastic time last night, seeing Stiff Little Fingers at the Forum Kentish Town, and subsequently feeling a little fragile throughout the game.
I'm old enough to know (much) better.

Ref Watch.
Mr M. Brown didn't come to The Valley to make friends.
He left having accomplished just that.


Ken said...

That's two weeks in a row we have suffered referees from East Yorkshire. A conspiracy?
Anyway, congrats, Marco. You made the March Hall of Fame (Avec moi as it happens).

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to add my congratulations to the Orient fans who walked to the game for charity.
Well done to all of them.

Anonymous said...

The refereeing display in the first half was the worst I have seen in decades. I didn't think we should have had a penalty, but I did feel strongly about the string of bizarre free kicks the ref gave against us. BWP shoulder charges an Orient player, free kick happens. They shoulder charge Kermit - none given. Complete inconsistency. This seemed to stop our momentum more than Orient.

It would have been good to see areplay of Cort's disallowed goal - from the bullet style it went in the net by, it must have been a big punch. But of course the media talents at the BBC don't like to give much coverage to a club that has lead their division longer than anyone else.

To be frank we never looked like losing this - how many shots on target did they have in the second half? But for all the reasons so eloquently put by you Marco, we just expect it to go wrong; whilst it was 1-0 our friend the ref could have given an outragous penalty couldn't he?

Next match I'm taking a big sofa to hide behind..

Pembury Addick

Sciurus Carolinensis Nemesis said...

You're all being far too generous tpwards "referee" Brown's performance in the first half on Saturday. I'll call a spade a spade here - it was corrupt, repeatedly he saw what happened but then chose to give a wrong decision. If Cort handled the ball into the net then a yellow card is the least he must receive - and the treatment dished out to Kermorgant was outside the rules.
6 minutes in I was fully expecting Brown to find reason to disallow the goal for perhaps taking it too quickly. I would love to see his report of the match but there's no chance of that is there? We were fortunate that Orient had so little on the day and Charlton were so superior in all aspects because Brown made match altering decisions which on many other days would have changed the result.

Paul B said...

Hi, I was sitting in the north west stand and it was a punch by Cort. I also felt it was a penalty. I've seen a lot less contact being given as penalties lately. But the referee was deffo on a par with last week's 12th man for Huddersfield. But I think last week's ref was biased. This one was just incompetent. But surely we can't screw it up now and we can't have any more bad luck. Draw with Oldham, wins against Walsall, Wycombe, and Hartlepoole should guarantee promotion. Not sure it will guarantee the title. If we go into the play offs we're screwed. But then again that would be the Charlton way of doing things. Just as long as it ends in another Mendonca moment then even that would be bearable, though I'd have no nails and no hair left by the end of it.