Phil Parkinson answered those critics who have said that he has no Plan B with Charlton's 2-1 defeat of a spirited Huddersfield Town side. He rested Jonjo Shelvey on the bench and replaced him with Izale McLeod. Miguel Llera was dropped in favour of Sodje and it was the Greenwich-born Greenwich resident who opened the Addick's account with an early goal and McLeod who scored the winner after Huddersfield had equalised. Parky also had the tactical skill to take off Spring, who had had a decent first half, at half time and replace him with the returning Semedo who upped the quality of Charlton's play. The win took Charlton top of the table, albeit Leeds have two games in hand.
We noted that it was high tide in Greenwich Creek, putting us in an optimistic frame of mind for the match. The Rose of Denmark was full of Terriers in full song, apparently they had piled off the coach. Someone was filming them from a house opposite, perhaps to complain to the council about the noise.
Charlton won a corner in the first minute, but a decent effort by Spring went over the bar. A Youga run led to a Charlton thrown in near the flag and then Racon won a corner which was well delivered by Spring. Sodje made no mistake with his strong bullet header and the Addicks were 1-0 ahead.
There was concern when Sodje needed treatment, but he was fine. A break involving Sam led to a Charlton corner, followed by a second. The ball was played out, but the lively Youga won it back. The move was a good one, but the Wiltshire Whistler blew up to bring it to an end.
Huddersfield were awarded a free kick and Racon was given a talking to, but it was a case of 'Je ne comprends pas' with the geezer from Guadeloupe. Burton played the ball out of defence well and then Bailey provided good defensive work.
It was end-to-end stuff and the Terriers won a corner. Elliot should have been more decisive and come out to claim the ball in the resultant play. The Terriers continued to press forward, with a shot flashing across the face of the goal.
After the Terriers broke, Youga dealt with the threat well. Huddersfield wre awarded a free kick in front of the D and Elliot made a good save at the expense of a corner which was caught by the keeper.
He then had to make another save, and with the Terriers continuing to apply pressure, Elliot got a fingertip to the ball. The corner led to a a scramble in front of goal, but the referee blew up for an Addicks free kick. Parky was not happy with what he was seeing and screamed instructions at Sam and others.
The Terriers were awarded a highly dubious free kick at an angle to the 'D'. It was well taken by Pilkington and it went off the post and into the back of the net to make it 1-1, the away support going beserk.
Lloyd Sam tried to forge through a forest of defenders when he should have passed the ball and consequently lost it. Matt Spring received a yellow card for a foul to his disbelief.
With one minute of time added on, Charlton had a free kick but it was unproductive.
Half time: Addicks 1, Terriers 1
Semedo replaced Spring. Although they kicked off Charlton were unable to get the ball out of their half and the Terriers won a corner. Elliot punched the ball out and Racon tried to run through on the break when he should have passed.
A blatant foul on Bailey was ignored by the referee. However, he did then award Charlton a free kick and this started a move that allowed McLeod to put the ball in the back of the net. He received a yellow card for his exuberant celebrations. If he goes on like this, he will end up suspended for goal celebrations.
A move started by Bailey led to a Huddersfield defender nearly putting the ball in his own net, but Smithies in the goal was able to tip it over the bar.
A Terriers corner was taken quickly, leading to a second. The ball was put in the net but the referee had already blown up for an infringement. Richardson was involved in a clash of heads and required treatment.
After a Terriers free kick, Charlton broke to win another corner. The ball was played back in, but the move was ultimately unproductive. Semedo won a free kick near the flag and this led to a Charlton corner. The Addicks maintained good pressure, but a Huddersfield handball was ignored by the officials.
Sodje performed well in defence. An effort from McLeod went just over the bar. Huddersfield won a corner when Dailly should have kicked the ball out for a throw in. The ball was played back in from the corner and the Terriers effort was just wide of the post. There was still everything to play for.
After a cynical trip on Youga who was powering down the wing, Gary Roberts was booked. The Terriers looked like scoring, but Elliot saved well by kicking the ball out. Bailey was involved in a collision and Peltier received a yellow card.
Huddersfield made a double substitution, while Wagstaff replaced Sam. Bailey put in a poor shot. The Terriers took the still groggy Peltier off. Elliot created danger with a poor kick out. An effort by Racon was saved. Huddersfield were awarded another dubious free kick and before it was taken Mooney replaced McLeod.
Five minutes of time were added on. Huddersfield won a corner, but it was punched out by Elliot. After last week's bore draw, this was a much more satisfying match to watch.
Leamington are now without a bench, even the physio has gone, and they went down 1-2 at home to Stourbridge in the FA Trophy.
Ivy the Terrible had to check the rules for the award of the coveted Silver Bone but it is not customary to give it to a player who came on after the first half, so once again the award went to Kelly Youga who was incisive in attack and skilled and resolute in defence. As he has received the award three matches running, he now qualifies for the ultimate honour of the Golden Bone. It just shows what a change of haircut will do for you. Elliot made some good saves, but he nearly created danger on one occasion when he hesitated rather than coming off his line. Dailly generally did his job well, but there was one point when he created danger by trying to re-gain possession rather than hoofing the ball out for a throw in which would have been preferable to conceding the resultant corner. Sodje scored an excellent goal and carried out his defensive duties admirably. Richardson was very much involved and managed to combine well with Sam most of the time. Bailey made some good interventions in defence. He does his best out on the left, but he is not really comfortable there. Spring played well in the first half, his corners being particularly good. He then picked up an unfair booking from the referee. Taking him off seemed a tad harsh at the time, but reflected the fact that Parky does not know what he is doing tactically. Steve from Petts Wood is sceptical about Racon, 'I am told he is marvellous, but I never see it.' His contribution was quite limited. Sam made some good contribitions from time to time, but faded as the second half went on. McLeod took his goal well and generally made himself a nuisance to the opposition. Burton playing through the pain barrier contributed relatively little, but he was constantly being held back by the Terriers defence. All the referee was interested in was finding reasons to award fouls against Burton. Semedo and his silky skills definitely made Charlton stronger in the second half. Wagstaff slotted in well when he came on. Mooney, rushed to the ground via the Bakerloo Line yesterday, only had a cameo, but looked strong and vigorous.
Juneau the Soccer Cat awarded the Hiss of the Match
to the 'Wiltshire Whistler' referee R East who was boooed off the pitch after the end of each half. Any infringement against a Terrier was immediately met with action, however marginal the decision, while handball appeals were brushed aside. It was one of his dubious free kick decisions that led to the Huddersfield goal.
Crowd rating The substantial Huddersfield contingent in a crowd nine short of 17,000 were a noisy lot, but the Addickted managed to hold their own for much of the time. 7/10