Sunday, 26 August 2012

Bank Holiday Washout

Charlton Athletic 0 - Hull City 0.
Another very disappointing crowd of below 17 000 (come on, we aren't Crystal Palace), witnessed a game that for periods looked like it had nil nil written all over it, yet by the end had me hoping we'd hang on for that score.

Not much to report about the team other than Taylor went off during the warm up and SCP didn't feel it was necessary to make any changes between the Kick Off and when the players were back enjoying the warm showers and Imperial Leather.

Hull didn't really show much but they certainly looked better than the teams we were used to seeing last season.
Aluko looked very lively and will probably be back up North this morning, wondering how he didn't score at least one.

The main reason the game ended 0-0 was due in equal parts to a couple of errors from the officials and a superlative goalkeeping display from Ben Hamer.

I don't mind admitting that at the end of last season, I was sure we'd need to have a 'keeper upgrade as I really didn't see how young Ben would cope with the Championship.

He seemed to have moments when his concentration went for a Burton, he argued with referees and wound them up with silly time wasting, he seemed to flap at crosses and didn't command his six yard box very well.

I am delighted to have this stuffed right back in my face.
Ben is now much more vocal, is assured around his goalmouth and (so far) hasn't been winding up the officials.
Ben's shot stopping abilities have never been in doubt and yesterday he pulled off some remarkable saves, one towards the end that seemed almost impossible to reach.

The officials in the Championship are 'better' than league one but not immune to cock ups.
Without heading into a rant, I fail to see how a defender diving in to stop the ball with his hands raised and subsequently stopping a shot, goalkeeper style, cannot be given as handball.
When it's inside the penalty area it's a spot kick, end off.
Except yesterday it wasn't.

Charlton had a perfectly good goal chalked off due to incompetence too.
In fairness to the East stand linesman, he raised his flag very early and there was still a good 4 or 5 seconds of play before the ball hit the net but none of the players knew his flag was up and they all carried on.

BWP rushed onto a ball, from an onside position but the lino raised his flag. Those of us level, moaned instantly that it wasn't the case but I found myself thinking it didn't matter so much when BWP's shot rebounded back behind him.
However, Yann followed up with a belter but due to the linesman's original error, it wasn't to be.

Subsequent forensic investigations using television pictures have pronounced "we was robbed", not that they could be bothered to say it on the BBC FLS.

It was a day of the most atrocious rain.
Not only rain but thunder and lightning too.
 I wouldn't mind betting there'll be some fantastic photographs taken with the sky lit up behind the West stand.

By the end of the game, I think most of us felt a draw was a fair result.
It probably should have been a 2-2 game but I imagine both teams will take solace from a clean sheet in what must have been very, very difficult conditions.

A Casualty Rating
Without a shadow of a doubt, Ben Hamer is taking the Lacoste polo for a goalkeeping performance to remember.
Even on a dry, windless day his saves would have been remarkable but on an afternoon that resembled monsoon conditions he was ridiculously assured.

For the second game running, Fat Bloke To My Right was there to warble nonsense towards the pitch.
The fact he takes up a seat and a half is annoying enough, (especially when he goes searching for things in his pocket and I end up feeling like a teenage girl at a party) but yesterday he added eye watering arm pits to the equation.

He's getting the Primark novelty slogan t-shirt.
Keep it freshly laundered pongo.

It was really good to finally meet up with the Lord Lucan of Charlton blogging Hungry Ted after the game.
Crispy and I remarked how he is quite obviously a friendly and sociable type, yet nobody we know had met him due to his solitary Charlton supporting existence.

Don't be a stranger matey!

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