Some of the Addicketd claim that penalties don't count, but they did this afternoon when Nicky Forster scored from the spot in the 64th minute to give Charlton a 1-0 victory over MK Dons.
It was a lacklustre first half when Dons did not look like starting the late run to the play offs hoped for in the programme, but used their physical presence and a 'homer' referee to edge Charlton out of the game. The Addicks came under pressure in the opening phase of the second half and again after they had gone ahead, but they withstood it and themselves were on top in the final phase.
I was pleased that I had printed out instructions on how to get to the ground as there were none of the usual brown football signs and one roundabout in Milton Keynes looks much like another - and there are a lot of them. Inside the stadium is half completed and echoing and any atmosphere was created by the Addickted. The Cowshed only rarely came to life and even the half time display of flags to celebrate the stadium's status as a prospective World Cup venue created little excitement.
The first half started with a series of midfield exchanges often in the air and it did not improve much after that. Charlton seemed to be relying on hit and hope. The highlights of the half were two outstanding reaction saves by Darren Randolph. Towards the end of the half the Addicks did apply some pressure.
Half time: Dons 0, Addicks 0
Charlton were under the cosh in the opening phase and couldn't get out of their half. However, the replacement of the disappointing Wagstaff by Sam on 57 minutes seemed to liven up Charlton.
Forster advanced not very threateningly, but for some reason Sean O'Hanlon chose to bring him down. The referee had a clear view and waved away the vociferous protests of the home side. Forster struck the penalty cleanly.
The Dons were energised by the supposed injustice, but could not break the Addicks down, although Randolph had to make another great save. One of the home side had to be stretchered off. Five minutes of time were added on, which ended up being nearer seven, but the Addicks retained their shape to take the points.
Walking back to the car, someone wound down their car window and shouted 'You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.' I didn't think the penalty was that contentious, but then I turned to see a group of BNP actvists behind me.
Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Darren Randolph for three saves that kept Charlton in the game. The referee gave him a yellow card for time wasting towards the end of the game which had little justification.Sam Sodje provided good defensive cover, although he required treatment after a knock in the first half. Captain Christian Dailly was solid and consistent.Richardson did not shine, but was competent. I though that Borrowdale was a bit up and down, but made some good interventions. Semedo received a number of chants from the crowd and did his job well. Racon showed some really nice touches and was one the best players on the pitch given the absence of Nicky Bailey. Reid looked sharp and was in many ways our greatest attacking threat. Wagstaff made little contribution apart from one run on goal which came to nothing. Mooney ran around but to little effect.
Forster did his job well, but does lack pace. Sam looked up for it when he came on and his runs unsettled the Dons defence.Shelvey looked lively when he came on and caused the home side some problems, winning Charlton a corner. Akpo Sodje made little impact.
Juneau the Soccer Cat has given the Hiss of the Match to the lack of directions to the stadium.
Crowd rating The Addickted were in good voice. There was even a chant of 'Parky, give us a wave' and he responded.