Saturday, 31 August 2013

Happy Yann Day.

Charlton Athletic 2 - Leicester City 1

So, the Foxes came to town.

Those of us who enjoy tuning into Newsnight or Question Time are fully aware that 'a week is a very long time in politics'.

It's fair to say the same is definitely the case in football.

Last weekend, Charlton looked a very poor side and had to rely on the gods of bad weather to curtail a game that seemed for long periods to have embarrassing home defeat stamped all over it.

This week, well, it's all sunny in the garden isn't it?

Enjoying a few drinks in the Rose of Denmark pre game, I cut a rather pessimistic figure.
I freely admitted I was expecting a 3-0, or worse, defeat.

Only chirpy Hungry Ted said he fancied us to pull off a decent result.
We discussed 'that' Cardiff game last season and how important the support from the stands had been.

Could something similar happen again?

Charlton started the fixture really well and it was plain to see that Chris Powell had asked the team to go for it.

Leicester didn't really get started for the first quarter of an hour but as the half progressed, they looked dangerous when counter attacking, often with blistering pace.

Despite this, most of the attacking play was from Charlton, especially from set pieces. 
Morrison stuck his head onto a corner and we were 1-0 up.

Despite the celebrations, Charlton were good value for the one goal advantage.

Yann Kermorgant had been booed (and BOOOED) by the majority of Foxes fans so it was rather gratifying in the second half, to see him score his customary goal against his old employers.

Leicester blasted themselves back into the game within moments, Hamer given no chance with the rasping shot.

Two Leicester players stood out for me today, one for positive and one for negative reasons.

The positive player was Kasper Schmeichel.
My oh my!
In my humble opinion, if he had only been on 'ordinary' form as opposed to 'form of his life' today, then Charlton would have been runaway winners.

Schmeichel made three saves that were so good, I was already celebrating the goal!
He was by far the best Leicester player on show.

The silly boy Matty James was at the other end of the scale.
Already on a yellow card, he raced after the referee to complain and (from our angle) looked to get right in the referee's face and push him, earning himself a red card.

Just the kind of behaviour his grumpy manager should be concerned about, rather than trying to blame the officials for Leicester not turning over little old Charlton.

The statistics don't lie Nigel.

Let's bask in the joy of being an Addick again.

Every single player in red played a part today. A proper, old school team effort.

These are the days that remind us why we love the club and keep supporting when with minimal effort, and short distances to travel, we could join the sheep and glory boys cheering on one of the capitals Premiership big guns, (not including Palace of course who are resolutely low rent).

We can now go into the International Break feeling all warm and cosy before we reconvene at Watford in two weeks time.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

What A Strange Afternoon.

Charlton Athletic 1 - Doncaster Rovers 3
(Match Abandoned at Half Time).

This game started with a Rovers goal.

Barely two minutes had been played when some statuesque Charlton 'defending' lead to a strong headed goal.

It all happened in slow motion.
I felt like rubbing my eyes, sit com fashion, such was the absurdity of what I had witnessed.

It was to get much, much worse.

The area in front of the Valley East stand and especially the North stand penalty area (being defended by Charlton) had collected water so there was a distinct splash to the players running. 

It was, at times, impossible to make out the matchball if two or three players were challenging for it.
This wasn't really too much of a problem but when the ball also refused to roll over large sections of the field- and throw ins landed on the pitch and stopped still, it was plain to see that any kind of passing game was impossible.

Before long, Doncaster had scored two more.

Both goals can at least in some part be attributed to the state of the pitch, though for one, the East stand linesman was so far behind the play he was nowhere near able to make a decision on what looked to be an offside in the build up.
The Charlton defence really hadn't adapted to the ball getting stuck in the soup but were also neglecting  their basic jobs such as marking and blocking.

The game was suspended with each and every Charlton fan hoping the referee would see sense, and every Doncaster supporter hoping the game would continue, despite the atrocious conditions and danger to players.

I'd have been exactly the same in their position. Imagine being 3-0 up, away from home and then to hear the game might be void?

After about half an hour, the players returned and despite the work done on the pitch, the rain had continued while the players were back in the changing rooms.

The surface had not improved.

Church managed to score for Charlton to put a little bit of respectability on the scoreline but the game was turning into a farce.

Keegan got a chance to enjoy an early bath when he proved how footballers can sometimes be remarkably thick and infuriating to their supporters.

Why pull down an opposition player, who is in their own half (and isn't posing any kind of threat), when you are already on a yellow card and the referee is only metres away?

What a doofus.

Yann went to ground and Keegan went to have first go with the (Brut?) shower gel.

Charlton came into the game more and more as the clock ticked towards half time.

The break lasted longer than normal and finally the Doncaster players came out onto the pitch, clapped their support and lobbed their shirts into the crowd.

Soon afterwards, the Charlton team came out, clapped and waved and it was clear we'd seen as much as we were going to get today.

People who weren't there will probably think Charlton, and Chris Powell in particular, dodged a bullet today.

This might be the case but the momentum had turned towards Charlton and who's to say the ten man team would have been able to defend that North stand swamp/penalty area?

In summary, poor Charlton defending cannot be denied but the game really shouldn't have got past the first ten minutes.

I felt sorry for the Doncaster supporters who made the journey but the correct decision was made in the end.

For all the crowing from Yorkshire about Charlton 'cheating,' it wasn't the home sides decision to end the game. 
The referee Lee Collins had to make a safety decision and (eventually), though it was clear he was under immense pressure, he did call off the game. 

Yorkies might need to remember that God may be a Londoner but we really have no sway when ordering the weather.

waterlogged pitch. 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

It's HERE!

I posted yesterday that sadly I can't be at The Valley today for our first home game of the season.

However, I can show quite clearly from this photograph that excitement is reaching almost fever pitch as the clock ticks ever closer to 3pm (5pm Greek time).

Friday, 9 August 2013

Missing You...

Unfortunately I won't be at the Valley on Saturday for the visit of tactful Tony Mowbray and his smoggy pals.

Due to booking a sunshine break, way back in April, I took a chance with the fixture list and the cards fell badly.

I was able to visit Bournemouth last Saturday and despite the result, had a thoroughly enjoyable day.

"Since I was young......... etc etc...!"

Truthfully, it was never going to be our day.
 Bournemouth deserved a decent result for their first game back in the Championship and their players seemed to be just the little bit more in command of the game. 
Yann's screamer aside, we looked second best for large periods, despite it being a fairly even encounter.

We could have nicked it of course but after the daylight robbery we performed at the same venue two seasons ago, -when I came perilously close to punching  Jim Davidson in the face with my rather animated added on time celebrations, (he was next to me in the Charlton section), it would have been too much to ask for.

Last season I didn't miss a single home game in the league or our (admittedly rather brief) efforts in the cups.

This year, with the season only a week old, I'll have missed TWO games!

My season ticket is being used as I've handed it to a friend but I can't help feeling a little bit flat about missing the first 'proper' home game.

I will, of course, be following the game via twitter, while I bake my belly in the Greek sunshine.

Give the lads a cheer from me and, in true Curbs programme notes fashion, lets hope the team "Send everyone home happy".