At half time we a were introduced to a fan from Essex who is going to plant a Charlton flag on Mount Everest. Charlton did not exactly scale the summit in this 1-0 victory over Carlisle, but they consolidated the base camp that should secure them a play-off place. They did enough to hold off Carlisle, while failing to make use of some chances that could have secured a larger margin.
Whilst the formation was notionally 4-5-1, it was more 4-4-2 as Shelvey was getting forward a lot. Charlton came out of the traps well and applied a lot of early pressure. Reid put in a good cross which led to a corner and then to two more.
Carlisle local hero Tom Aldred had to go off for stitches after he had collied with another Cumbrian. Semedo was yellow carded for a foul on Clayton, but Carlisle were also dishing it out and Dobie and Thirlwell were booked.
Although Charlton continued to apply pressure and won more corners, it looked as if the half-time score might be 0-0 until Sodje rose to one of the corners and delivered a bullet header into the back of the net.
The referee, who had a good game overall, called the captains together after Semedo had an exchange of views with a Carlisle player. It was not thought that the latter had simply failed to understand the Portuguese for 'Do many of your supporters come from Scotland?'
Half time: Addicks 1, Cumbrians 0
Shelvey missed when he should have passed to Sam who was available on his right. Randolph called on his skills as a former international basketball player to punch out the ball from a Carlisle corner. Shelvey brought the ball out well afterwards.
Good work by Shelvey won Charlton a corner, but Borrowdale overhit it. Carlisle put the ball in the net, but the flag was up. Millwall charm merchant Jason Price had been trying a tactic of running at Randolph whenever he had the ball, but he was substituted by a player with a more conventional hairstyle.
The tiring Forster was replaced by Akpo Sodje and Bailey returned from injury to replace the increasingly erratic Reid. Shelvey missed an open goal. A Charlton goal was disallowed as Richardson was offside. Shelvey was involved in missing another opportunity and was replaced by Mooney. Akpo Sodje created a half chance, but was not able to take it.
Another three points ground out.
Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Sam Sodje for the goal that gave Charlton victory and a solid performance in defence. Darren Randolph had relatively little to do which was a measure of Carlisle's failure to penetrate and their waywardness when they did. Borrowdale had a very competent game. Richardson had one brilliant run forward and generally linked up well with Sam. He defended well apart from conceding a corner with a sliced clearance. Dailly was reliable throughout. Semedo got booked again, but generally played his part well. Racon was not as prominent as at MK Dons, but again showed some nice touches and put it one very good cross. Sam was lively and caused the Carlisle defence some problems. Reid was below his best, blasting the ball over twice when he could have had a more considered shot, although he did forge forward well at times. Shelvey seemed uncertain where should position himself, was static at times and missed one great opportunity to score. Forster had relatively little impact and is not as good as Burton in a 4-5-1. Bailey tried to get involved and made some good defensive efforts. Akpo Sodje made a positive difference when he came on, particularly against the tall Carlisle defence. Mooney did nothing to satisfy his many critics.
Juneau the Soccer Cat has given the Hiss of the Match to the instant ball delivery system which often fails to speed things up as it means there are two balls on the pitch at one time.
Crowd rating Reasonably lively, but not at full pitch. 7/10.