Thursday, 27 December 2012

Grimacing in the Rain

Charlton Athletic 1 - Ipswich Town 2.

The score line hints at a close run game.
It wasn't.

Ipswich were handed the win in the first half by a lukewarm Charlton performance.
They didn't need to raise their game to beat a very poor Charlton effort that lacked any kind of spark.

Congratulations to the Ipswich supporters who made it to the Valley on a day when there were no tube trains running and overland trains were not stopping at Charlton.

We had a similar state of affairs when we played at Portman Road.
On that day the train line between London and Ipswich was being worked on.
I know this effected our turn out, even though it wasn't a nasty rainy day when people might want to stay at home with their families.

We should have been 3-0 down at halftime.

Frimpong made a stupid challenge- just the kind I was warned about by when he arrived by an Arsenal supporting friend- and Lee Martin who made a name for being a Tom Daley when he was on loan at the Valley didn't even need to pretend.

As solid a penalty as you could ask for.
(Nearly as solid as the one we were denied at Sheffield Wednesday).

DJ Campbell fluffed the kick though and we had a huge let off.

The two goals that arrived before the break should all have been defended better.
A bit of pinball in the Charlton penalty box and some sleepy defending meant the Half Time break couldn't come quick enough.

Stephens had our best chance.
A wonderful free kick curled around the wall to hit the base of the post.
Had Lady Luck not deserted us this season, the ball would have come back to an onrushing forward but of course, it returned at just the wrong angle to be useful.

Pritchard and Jackson appeared for the second half.
Jackson could have scored with his first touch.
He was just shaping to nod home an inswinging cross when Fuller got in his way and the chance was gone.

Pritchard was lively and linked up with Haynes well.
Solly had more chances to run forward as Ipswich looked to protect what they had.

When Solly was upended and Haynes stuffed the resulting penalty high into the net Charlton should have pushed on.
Ipswich looked rattled for the next 5 minutes but our players didn't look capable of taking the initiative.

The East stand linesman was in dreamland for much of the game, missing clear touches of the ball to award throws the wrong way and lifting his flag for offside even when defenders were covering.

As rubbish as he was, he had no effect on Charlton being beaten.

Ipswich are one of the weakest sides I've seen this season yet they didn't have to do much to grab the 3 points at the Valley.
They've improved 100% since Millwall Mick took over but I can still see them around the bottom come the end of the season.

Unfortunately, we'll probably be there too but as I said at the start of the season, anything better than relegation is what I'm after.
This is a consolidation season for us.

It's not as much fun as last year when nearly every game was one we were at least likely to win but that's what you get from moving up a division.

So, a poor turn out on a poor day to witness a poor performance.

There'll be better days.
We just have to Keep the Faith and remember what a fantastic season we had last year to get us to this position.

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