Saturday, 5 October 2013

Bore Draw

Charlton Athletic 0 - Blackpool 0

Today was not a classic, by any stretch of the imagination but Charlton can at least say a clean sheet has finally arrived.

Ben Hamer wasn't really called into action too much in the Charlton goal but the West Country custodian must gain some confidence from the shut out, especially as his performances have been under the microscope lately.

Last weekend, I couldn't see us winning a point before the International Break so two draws against fancied opposition isn't a bad return.

Today was a game nobody really deserved to win or lose.
It was dull, dull, dull.

I think Charlton will be happier with the point than Blackpool who surely must have arrived at The Valley, looked at our team sheet without Kermorgant, Solly, Jackson and Cort and reckoned it was a fine time to avenge the two defeats we inflicted upon them last season.

There was plenty of huff and puff from both sides but real, proper, attempts on goal were at a premium.

Other than Jordan Cousins long shot, that Gilks managed to push onto the post, Charlton were pretty toothless.
Church ran and ran (and ran) but nothing fell for him.
Sordell got into some good positions but in general, he just made me wonder why anyone felt the need to put a £3M price tag on him and Harriot tried hard, yet seemed outmuscled by the well drilled Seasiders.

Blackpool's large defence made sure all the long balls hoofed up front were repelled with ease.
We certainly missed the pugnacious Kermorgant.

At the other end, Wilson, Morrison and Wood were keeping the highly regarded Ince under wraps.

Both teams cancelled each other out.

Hardly a game to live long in the memory but it's a point I didn't expect, so I'm not complaining, (unlike the prize twazzock who was sitting behind us in the East stand).

He moaned from 3pm onwards, without cease.
He didn't seem to recognise many of our players and had very little of note to say other than the reds are "just not good enough" and "laughably poor", while exclaiming with disgust at every perceived misplaced pass or fumbled control.
It went on and on.
 He was having a horrible time, obviously hating every minute of his time at The Valley.

A man of such lofty standards must surely dress in the finest suits, live with a Miss World, dine out at Michelin starred restaurants while driving a DB9 to his obscenely highly paid job, before heading home to his luxury mansion.
His cover as an Old Man Steptoe clone was a masterstroke when trying to blend in.

The 100% support of Tuesday night was a distant memory around our parts today, mostly thanks to Moaning Mike.

I do hope he's not going to be a regular feature of home games.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

That's More Like It.

Charlton Athletic 1 - Nottingham Forest 1
Ex CAFC Reid was very welcome back at the Valley.

The morning papers will have this down as a point won by both teams but from a Charlton perspective, this was so much more.

Despite an early setback in the second minute, when Andy Reid swung in a free kick, (only for it to catch Hamer flat footed and nestle in the net), a cobbled together Charlton side gave the kind of performance the supporters desired.

If the team had shown even half the commitment shown tonight at our previous home game against Millwall, the Lions wouldn't have had a prayer.

Against Millwall nobody really stood out for praise.
Tonight, the whole team deserve to be congratulated.

The Forest goal had a charmed life.
After barely creating a single chance of merit against Millwall and with much the same result up at Burnley, tonight there was wave after wave of Charlton pressure.
Chance after chance went begging, yet we 'knew' there'd be more to come.

Simon Church could have had a hat trick in the first half alone.
It was wonderful to watch.

Sordell scored the goal that looked like it could be the launch pad for Charlton to claim all 3 points but it wasn't to be.

The final touch just wouldn't come off but nobody can deny the team work and effort displayed to create those chances.

It's amazing what can be achieved when there's some belief.
The encouragement came pouring down from the stands and the players responded.

Lawrie Wilson was inspirational and it was his hard work that laid on the Charlton goal.

Before the game, as ever, I was convinced we'd be on the receiving end of a spanking.
What transpired was Forest were hanging on by the end.
Their 'keeper in particular was wasting a ridiculous amount of time.
Clearly they'd settled for what they already had.

It nearly backfired for them as in the closing seconds, Morrison could have won it for Charlton when he steamed in at the far post, onto a well delivered corner that went past the flapping keeper.

Had Morro stuck his nut on it as we expected, it couldn't have failed to end up in the net but it was at an awkward height so he went with his foot.
The ball missed the target and that was it.

I'm feeling quite elated after a draw.
It's an odd game eh?


Supporters of Charlton aren't like many other clubs.
 We are quite like Brentford, Millwall, Leyton Orient and Watford though.

We (mostly) live now, or have lived for a period, in and around the South East part of a huge metropolis with hundreds of diverting and entertaining events going on daily.

Despite these wonderful cultural opportunities available, we decide we are going to watch football.

But where?

We live just a few miles from some of the most wealthy and successful football clubs in this country and beyond, yet we spend our time following one of those clubs the press would politely call 'lesser', in the same way they label anyone who didn't go to Eton/Oxbridge as 'ordinary'.

It's all very well living in some one horse town up North and becoming a hardcore follower of your local team.

When it's a choice between sitting on the wall outside Lidl, chugging away on an alcopop, or heading into the dry of the home end, it's hardly that much of a choice.

We have chosen to align ourselves with a club where the successes really *mean* something, as we have regular disappointments.
It'd be easy to be a Glory Boy in this city but we choose not to.

So, onto tonight.

Of course not.

We are well used to disappointment, we are Addicks!!!

We have a severely injury depleted team, and an 'upstairs' that seems to have hardly enough money between them to service the debts, never mind make any improvements.

Come on Charlton fans. 
We know that on paper Forest should be giving us a right good hiding tonight.

They've spent around £6M this year while we've spent £0 propping up a team that's essentially a League 1 outfit.
Forest have star players we can only dream of.

Yet it's still just 11 v 11.

It's not impossible. 

Even if we are losing handsomely, we can still applaud the effort shown by our players.
We can give them strength by showing them we believe. We can be the difference between a player giving 80% and giving his all.

I'll see you there, 7:45pm.

(Bring your throat sweets.)

Oh and if it's confidence you're after, these might help.