Charlton picked some low hanging fruit with a 2-1 win over the Cherries today, while Leamington were beaten 0-1 at home by bogey team Chasetown at a rain lashed New Windmill Ground. As far as I could work out, I was the only Charlton blogger in the crowd of 275.
Before the game there was speculation in the vice-presidents' lounge whether Chavtown would damage the away dressing room as they did on their previous two visits. The programme noted that their move to the Unibond would put them in an arena where 'there was a greater physicality to the game.'
The match was preceded by a heartfelt minute's silence to honour Sir Bobby Robson. Those who want to do more can always donate to his cancer charity (see Facebook page R.I.P. Bobby Robson).
Deano's son Chris was tested on 3 minutes when he pushed out a curling shot from a free kick in a dangerous position. Bello had a half chance with a cross from the left on 18 minutes, but he was not well positioned to get any power on his effort.
The Chasetown keeper made a good save on 21 minutes. On 35 minutes there was a handball call for the Brakes. However, the referee was more elderly and overweight than anyone I have ever seen and attempted to run the game from the middle of the park. I suppose we should be grateful to have any referee for such a fixture.
Half time: Brakes 0, Scholars 0
Chasetown scored their winning goal on 47 minutes. Chris Kiely pushed out a shot from a free kick in a dangerous position, but he couldn't save the rebound, the goal being scored by Gary Birch (previous clubs Walsall, Barnsley, Exeter, Lincoln and Kidderminster Harriers).
On 56 minutes a Chasetown shot from a free kick came off the post, possibly assisted by a leap by Kiely. On 76 minutes they hit the crossbar. Meanwhile, as the game become increasingly fractious, the referee came into his own as a comedy turn. Rebuking one player, he said, 'Don't say a word, smile!' a phrase quickly picked up by the crowd. He then got more irate, telling one player 'I'll decide, not you sir!'
Eventually he flourished a yellow card.
Kiely was pulled off on 84 minutes in favour of debutante back up keeper Arthur Burns who looked even younger than the 19-year old.
Brakes accelerated in the last few minutes, with Bello putting an angled shot across the face of goal and a couple of other chances being created. However, this result and others suggest that they are yet to find their rhythm, although some players are still on holiday.