Monday, 29 November 2010

On Strike.

The Tube Strike today in London has been a bit of a pain in the rear.

I don't actually make my way to work by tube but I was inconvenienced this morning by the overflow of extra traffic.

I must have been busy listening to Steve Brown, (being interviewed on Charlton Live last night), when the memo went around, stating the preferred route to work for disgruntled tube passengers was to go past my house by car.

It was SOOO busy.

It's always when you are running late isn't it?
I have decided to enter into the spirit of the times and have a bit of a strike myself.

I'm going to withdraw my support for Charlton Athletic when they take on Luton Town, at their place, on December 9th for the replay of the 2nd round F.A. Cup tie.

There. I've said it.

That'll show them.

Luton have offered Charlton 1500 tickets.
They also know that 500 would probably be enough.
Kenilworth Road is hardly the Camp Nou and unlikely to get many Addicks licking their lips in anticipation.

To try to make up for the lack of supporters, Luton have upped their prices to £12.

I for one am not prepared to put up with this kind of crushing of the common man.

I'm out!

This decision is a decision based on principle.

NO WAY is it connected to the fact I can sit in the warmth, on my own sofa, without the need to rush out of work and I can catch the game live on ESPN.

Sometimes you just have to make a stand.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Hats Off To Luton.

Charlton Athletic 2 - Luton Town 2.

As barely anyone could be bothered to turn up for our encounter with Luton yesterday, I decided I would carry on in the same vein and not bother with a report.

I went on a mini pub crawl through Greenwich and Blackheath last night, enjoying 'warming whiskies' en route, then stayed up until 5am being entranced by the Ashes series from Australia.

Needless to say, Sunday didn't really start until way after lunchtime.

If you were at The Valley, you know what happened.

If you weren't there, it was a typical Charlton FA cup performance with the added ingredient of leaving the ground looking and feeling like Ranulph Fiennes after one of his more arduous polar trips.

Paint Drying Cup aside, we have looked less than convincing in cup games this year, (as ever).
We have needed two attempts to beat the team at the very bottom of the football league and now a team below that.

Well done to Luton.
They brought just over 2,800 supporters who really got behind their team.
Their players responded and despite our squad being easily good enough to see off Luton, things just didn't quite click.

This evening we found out we would have been heading for White Hart Lane in the next round.
We still may of course but our jinx in the cups means Luton are probably thinking they have a really good chance of a day out in North London.

A Casual Rating
Cold, Cold, Cold.
(2x Bovril, 1x Mocha coffee were needed at half time or I think we'd have gone home.)

The Lacoste polo is going to the Luton supporters who turned up in numbers and tried to make an event of it.
We, in contrast, really couldn't be bothered in the stands or on the pitch.

It might have only been a game against Luton, in a competition we were never going to win, (even when we were in the Premiership), but I'd have liked to have seen a bit 'more'.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to the 'person' who took exception to our level of support for the Mighty Reds.
We were chastised for..... well nothing at all actually, which made the whole situation really quite laughable.
He was extremely lucky it was us sitting near him as we were in quite a jolly mood.
Some people wouldn't have been quite so laid back about the accusations and he'd have been carrying his molars and incisors home in a carrier bag.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Pirates Steal A Point

Charlton Athletic 1 - Bristol Rovers 1.

The Pirates of Bristol were most fortunate to escape South East London with a point this evening.

The Addicks were in control for most of the first half and did everything but score.
There were some missed opportunities and errant final balls but the main reason Charlton didn't return to the changing rooms at half time, at least a couple of goals up, was the superlative Bristol goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen.

The second half was much the same.
Charlton pressed for the opening goal but it was Rovers who broke the deadlock.
Wayne Brown shot from distance, hard and straight.
Possibly Rob Elliott was unsighted as he seemed to move late to stop the long shot.
It settled in the net and momentarily the Addick's heads dropped.

Charlton rapidly returned to plugging away but it seemed Andersen was not going to be beaten.

Eventually, Kyel Reid smashed a low, powerful cross into the six yard box and the ball ended up in the Bristol net.
It looked to have cannoned in off Paul Benson but the Valley announcer credited Kyel Reid.
There were looks of amazement all round but frankly we were just happy to have reached parity, whoever had scored the goal.

Charlton really went for it, trying to grab another late winner but Andersen had other ideas.
I was already up and out of my seat when an Alan McCormack rocket shot left his boot but yet again, Andersen stuck out an arm to deny.

The final chance was gone and the run of league wins has ended, (though still no losses since the seminal Brighton game).

Casual Rating
This game should most certainly have been won but wasn't. On Saturday a draw would have been fair yet we won.
it was an open game and though it wasn't a classic, it was enjoyable on a cold, miserable night.

The Lacoste polo shirt is going to the Bristol 'keeper Andersen. He wasn't quite up to the standards of Rob Elliott last week against Barnet but he did shape the game.
He earned the visitors a point by doing his job admirably.

Both teams played the game in a good spirit so no Primark novelty slogan tee shirt this time.

The referee, though seemingly not fussed in the slightest by the infuriating Rovers time wasting, had a game where he didn't really have to do much.
He therefore avoids any potential wrath from me.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Gloved Up.

Charlton Athletic 3 - Glovers 2.

Yesterday there was a special offer running at the Valley.
Season ticket holders were able to bring a couple of mates along for the princely sum of a tenner a pop.

I was impressed with the success of the scheme when we arrived at the entrance to the East Stand. There were the longest queues of expectant supporters since the heady days of the Premiership.

Unfortunately, the truth was less dramatic.
Only 2 turnstiles were open and the pushing crowds were getting restless.

I have no idea how many people came to the Valley yesterday who would normally have been elsewhere but what would they have witnessed?

As it turns out, the game turned out to be a bit of a cracker for those often mentioned 'neutrals'.

We had a visiting side who showed no indications of being in the drop zone. They brought the game to Charlton and looked dangerous going forwards. I was impressed with their commitment.

We had a couple of leaky defences. Both sides looked likely to concede which gave the game an edge of wondering what was going to happen next.

We had a couple of sendings off and a penalty which ultimately decided the encounter, along with 4 other goals, one of which was an absolute peach of an own goal.

We also had (another) set of completely incompetent officials.

It might not have been an absolute classic yesterday but by my reckoning, it was surely worth £10.

Today has been a day of wondering if Christian Dailly is going to be the subject of an appeal against the red card he received yesterday.

 He got an early bath for using his elbow but at the time I really didn't see it. I was convinced it was a clash of heads but after seeing the pictures on television it doesn't look good for CD.

Hopefully there'll be another camera angle to back up the kind words from Yeovil's Skiverton, who believes that the clash of heads theory is closest to the truth.

Johnnie Jackson has now taken over as top scorer after grabbing two goals yesterday.
His late, winning, penalty was an absolute screamer, blasting past the keeper who managed to get a touch on it.

Racon scored another fantastic goal. His good footwork making the space so he could send the ball into the far corner across the goalkeeper.

Charlton managed to stun the crowd by failing to deal with a miss hit free kick, then Gary Doherty sent the ball rasping into the top of Elliott's goal. As a forward, it would have been a finish to remember but as a defender it was a real head in hands moment.

All in all, a scrappy game with moments of high drama and a few moments of genuine skill.
The ball did spend rather a lot of time in the air as the teams hoofed it rather than played it out of trouble.
The contrast couldn't have been greater when compared to the passing game we had witnessed in the Rose of Denmark before heading to the Valley. (The North London Derby).

If I wasn't a regular anyway, I'm not sure the experience would have had me rushing to the ticket office for more of the same but it also wouldn't have put me off.

Casual Rating
In the circumstances, the reported crowd of just 15,184 was very poor but Yeovil didn't bring very many supporters to boost the figures.
 Those Glovers who did come along would probably have been very disappointed they didn't leave with at least a point. When we went down to ten men, I most certainly would have considered a draw to be an acceptable ending.
The Lacoste polo is being awarded to Johnnie Jackson - two goals scored in each of the last two games is a tremendous haul. Keep it up JJ.
This week I'm combining the Primark novelty slogan tee shirt award and 'Ref Watch'.
Oh dear, oh dear.
Tier 3 has been a real eye opener with regards duff officials but yesterday was another low point.
Dean Whitestone from Northampton, Come On Down!
Our first goal came from an award of a throw in that was an error.
 Robbie Elliott cleared from defence and the ball went straight out, possibly glancing off Benson's head. 
Oddly, Charlton were awarded the throw, which of course, we scored from.
Yeovil were, rightly, incandescent with rage.

From then on, you can be sure that if there was an opportunity to make a hash of it, our officials grabbed the chance with both hands.

The sending off of Dailly seemed harsh but there were countless, and I mean countless, other less meaningful decisions that weren't just debatable, they were cast iron wrong.

The winning goal, coming from a penalty was very pleasing but I was less than convinced at the time with Akpo's Tom Daley impression, (thanks Crispy), the reason for the award.

A soft penalty but as I said, pleasing nevertheless.

So, unbeaten in 8 games (in all competitions) since Brighton back on the 16th October. Of those 8 games, 7 have been won.

Can we keep the run going when The Pirates arrive on Tuesday?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Charlton sneak past Barnet

Charlton Athletic 1 -  Barnet 0..

A poor crowd of just over 4,800 came to The Valley, hoping for more of the same heroics as last Saturday.

As it turned out, Charlton scraped through against a spirited and well organised Barnet side.

The prospect of going to The Valley this evening did not fill me with joy.
It was cold, damp and I was hungry.

I sat in the living room with a large coffee until only 15 minutes to kick off.
A game against Barnet was hardly a mouth watering prospect.

Perhaps I should stay at home?

With a mild utterance of "sod it" I pulled on my coat, hat, scarf and Timberlands and made for The Valley.
I already had my ticket after all.

In the first half, Charlton were much the better side and Kyel Reid scored a fantastic individual goal.
However, despite Charlton stroking the ball about, Rob Elliott had to be really on his game more than once. A one handed 'strong wrist' save in particular was terrific.

At half time I was so chilly I bought a Bovril. (There wasn't much of a queue).

I burned the inside of my mouth which put me in a bad mood for the second half.
Even without the oral mishap, the second half was a completely different affair.

Rob Elliott had to really show his worth. On another night, Charlton would have been soundly beaten but tonight Rob seemed invincible.

Charlton never really looked like scoring in the second half but Barnet most certainly did.
Our old 'friend' Izale McLeod came on as a late substitute for Barnet which left me feeling certain he would score.
However, I'd forgotten how crud he is and other than a couple of attempted 'pass and moves' he didn't show much.

It most certainly was a relief when the final whistle was blown.
Our referee had not made friends, especially in the second half when he gave some rather strange looking yellow cards for what was universally reported near me as, 'not much'.

I look forward to finding out tomorrow who we will be playing in the next round.

Casual Rating
The Lacoste polo has to go to Robbie Elliott. He was as good as I've ever seen him tonight. Well done Robbie.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to Izale Mcleod. He really is pony isn't he?
I feel he has found his level at Barnet in League 2.

I can't believe he was bought to try to push us back to the Premier League.
That is not his fault I know but tonight he did try a few of those sneaky trips over his own leg that we know sometimes con referees into penalties.

Bring on Round 2.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Oh My God I Can't Believe It, We've Never Been This Good Away From Home!

Posh 1- Charlton Athletic 5.

Nothing more to add.
Life is full of 'ups & downs'.
This was certainly an 'up'.

A perfect afternoon, (other than the CAFCplayer service giving us a second opportunity to honour our war dead, with a further minute of silence.)
It was a shame the extra silence was while our first penalty of the season was being taken but Emma let us know soon enough that we were 1-0 up after the short break.

1-0 soon became 4-0.
A slight wobble made the score 4-1, before Peterborough completely imploded for a full time score of 5-1.


Stop reading this and go out and celebrate.

Casual Rating.
Everyone- players, staff and fans can have a Lacoste polo!

Life is too short to moan after days like these.

(Sing along)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Seaside Special.

Southend United 0 - Charlton Athletic 1.

Our heroes have now made it through to the Southern Section, Semi Final of the Paint Drying Cup.


Strangely, the further we progress in the competition, the less I feel inclined to mock it.

Another win and I'll be straight down to Wicks to get me some paint for the living room.

I listened in on the CAFCplayer service where Big Dave Lockwood was passing judgement on proceedings along with some other feller who shared a pwesenting style with Jonathon Woss.

We all know that Dave didn't go on to make some prank telephone calls to Andrew Sachs after the game, (with his new mate), as we were treated to them both discussing their travel arrangements home, soon after the final whistle.
I was pleased Dave was offered a lift and that they didn't mind waiting for him!

The game itself didn't sound as if it was a classic but there was a fair amount of noise coming from over 1000 Addicks who had made the journey into Essex.

BDL seemed to know more about the Charlton side than his co- host but both went into raptures when 'Semedo' scored.

Those of us listening in, soon smelled a rat as the twitterers inside the ground were commenting on the tremendous strike by Racon and Sky Sports was also giving the goal to Racon / Wackan.

The second half wasn't as comfortable listening as the first.

Southend came more into the game and it did sound as if we were possibly lucky not to lose Semedo for a second yellow card, as well as the referee denying 2 fairly good shouts for Southend penalties.

We have had some awful luck with officials this year so maybe this was one of those 'evening out' games the pundits are so fond of telling us about.

Well done to the team and Parky.

A Casual Rating.

Ref Watch: As I've hinted above, from the sound of it, Southend were unfortunate with some of the official's decisions.
At one stage it did seem as if the referee was going to send Semedo off for the second time this season, (He also sent him off against Bournemouth). He was let off with a finger wag and Parky swapped him within minutes as the next tackle he made was bound to be the start of a long walk towards the Imperial Leather in the changing rooms.

The Lacoste polo is going to Robbie Elliott as he sounded to be fairly busy, especially late on. Another clean sheet must do wonders for the confidence in the defence.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is staying in the cupboard this time.
It would seem churlish to single anybody out after a win, especially when in a cup competition, it's all about the result.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Drop Out.

I have a meeting tomorrow evening which I can't get out of so I won't be at Southend.

Last year, Southend away was one of my favourite games.

I hope those who can make it have an enjoyable time, the team win and give a confidence raising performance to take to Peterborough.

For all we mock the Paint Drying Cup, it is our only realistic opportunity of winning any silverware this season, though I'd much rather we managed promotion.


Sunday, 7 November 2010

Underwhelmed at Underhill.

 Barnet FC. 0 - Charlton Athletic 0.

The trek up the Northern line was hardly a chore.

Upon exiting High Barnet tube station, my first impression was the area seemed far too pleasant to be hosting a football match.

Ex blogger Frankie Valley had arrived in Hertfordshire without a ticket so we sauntered over to the Barnet FC club shop to purchase one from a really cheery old fellow.

While there, we made use of the 'facilities', a tea bar that also sold bacon and sausage sandwiches.
For any fans of Danny Baker and his Sausage Sandwich Game, (get well soon Danny), I had brown sauce on my sausage sandwich. (Aye, Aye).

The famous sloping pitch at Underhill was perhaps more suited to the nursery slopes at Chamonix than a decent game of football but the surface looked impeccable.
Frankie commented that he'd spent a fortune on his own garden yet he couldn't get it anything like the impressive greenery on show. How ever do teams in League 2 afford to have such good pitches?

A prat in a moron hat was running about, goading the Barnet supporters before kick off from the safety of the Charlton enclosure. If one of our own supporters had taken a pop at him he'd only have had himself to blame for the embarrassment caused. (Not that I condone violence of course).

The teams came out to the ripping guitar of Guns 'N Roses. It felt as if there were more Charlton fans inside than home supporters. If not, there can't have been much in it.

Anybody who has seen more than 8 or 9 Charlton games would have experienced the team totally dominating but failing to score, then having to hang on to avoid defeat as the game heads towards the final few minutes.

There's no need to add much more than that, the game stuck to the well thumbed script.

Jackson should have scored when he sent the ball across the goal, narrowly missing the far corner but Waggy was very annoyed he hadn't squared it to him, for an easy tap in.
Abbott hit the crossbar and Benson had a few good chances but after around an hour, it never felt as if it was ever going to be anything other than a 0-0 draw, though Elliott had to be alert in the final few minutes.

Personal highlights?
1. Watching a game in the company of F.V is always a pleasure.
2. The ironic chant of "Dirty Northern B******s" made me chuckle.

The game fizzled out with relief all round that we'd not been shamed like last year at Northwich.

Back onto the Northern Line to discuss football, travel, the general crapness of X-Factor, films, Dr. Feelgood albums etc.

I jumped out at London Bridge to visit my present number one in my permanent quest for The Best Coffee In The World.
Only 15 minutes later I was back on the train home.

A quick snack then a I headed off to Blackheath, on foot, for the fireworks.
Thanks Lewisham, they were fantastic.
Greenwich council, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Casual Rating

Ref watch: I felt the referee had a good game. There was nothing I noticed that changed the game for either side.

The Lacoste polo is going to Grant Basey. I know he's now wearing a Barnet shirt but I think he had one of the best games I've ever seen him play.
He's never been the quickest but he seemed to have gained a little bit of pace. He also looked a little slimmer than I remember.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to:
 a) The prat in the tall, floppy, red and white hat who thought everyone would be impressed with posturing from behind a fence and burly security.
b) Whoever thought it was a good idea to use an orange ball. It was probably part of some FA stuffed suit diktat but it actually made the ball more difficult to follow in the late evening sunshine.
Orange ball = Snow.
End of.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

3 In A Row.

Swindon Town 0 - Charlton Athletic 3.

How long ago that rather embarrassing spanking, at home, by high flying Brighton seems now.

Tonight, Charlton won their third game 'on the spin' as the pundits say.
Nine points from nine, (or nine points from twelve if we include the Brighton game), has sent most Addicks into a far more positive place when concerning the way our season is heading.

An early strike from Jackson was the club's 5000th league goal but it was Joe Anyinsah's header that really looked to have put Charlton in command, only six minutes after the restart.

Paul Benson continued his rich vein with the wrapping up goal on 74 minutes.
There was no chance of blowing it this time from a 3-0 position and Charlton ran out worthy winners.

There's now a break for Cup Action before the visit to Peterborough.

I'm really looking forward to Barnet now.
I've no idea how many people will be travelling from South London but it's sure to be more than the 429 who braved travel chaos in London to head to Swindon tonight.

Well done to all who made the trip and I hope your journey home isn't too awful.