Saturday, 1 May 2010

'We Only Want One Goal'

That was the chant of Leeds fans as today's fixture drew to a close and Charlton obliged within the minute through a match winning goal that was announced as being scored by Akpo Sodje. Sodje claimed it and got a yellow card for his celebrations, but it turns out it was an own goal. The win kept Charlton's slim hopes of automatic promotion alive, although it would take an unlikely combination of results to achieve it. But the Addicks demonstrated that they have the skill and commitment to take on the best teams in the league.

Sodje nearly made a fatal error at the beginning of the match and Randolph made a great save. Frazer Richardson tore at the Leeds defence and Charlton won a corner. A second followed shortly afterwards. Racon was called on for some good defensive work.

Semedo was down for a long time and referee Lee Probert allowed the game to continue. Borrowdale provided a good ball forward. Leeds put in a good strong shot and Randolph saved well. Burton won the ball well under pressure.

Charlton had dominated the first quarter of an hour, but Leeds managed to get back into the game more, making use of space on their right. Fortunately, their shooting was wayward. Leeds were given a rather dubious free kick in a dangerous position at an angle to the D. All that seemed to have happened was that one of their players ran into one of ours, but in the event the move ended in a Charlton free kick.

Burton and Sam combined well. Burton put in a good effort from a tight angle. The referee called the captains together after there had been a few arguments. Danger in front of goal lead to a rather doubtful Leeds corner, but Burton was able to clear.

A Leeds corner led to a break involving Lloyd Sam, producing a Charlton corner. Christian Dailly provided good defensive work. A forward run by Sodje led to a Charlton corner. Sam Sodje was given a yellow card for a foul. Leeds charm merchant Bradley Johnson was booked. Three minutes of time were added on.

Half time: Addicks 0, Whites 0

Randolph collected well from an eary attack. Semedo was confident in defence. Lloyd Sam won Charlton a corner, but Racon blasted the ball over. Burton lost possession and Randolph had to save on the line.

A shot from Racon was pushed away by the keeper and a follow up by Semedo was saved. Burton won Charlton a corner. Sam Sodje had a chance to score, but the ball ended up on top of the net. Charlton won another corner through Forster, but the move ended in a Leeds free kick for a push. Semedo was given a yellow card for dissent.

Leeds took off ex Livingston comedy turn Robert Snodgrass and brought on out-of-forward Jermaine Beckford who is going on to greater things. On 68 minutes Phil 'Must Go' Parkinson made a bold move, using all three substitutions. Burton, Forster and Racon came off and Akpo Sodje, Mooney and Reid came on. This change unsettled Leeds who had got used to the pattern of the attack.

A shot from Lloyd Sam was just over. Semedo did well in defence. Leeds took off Andrew Hughes and brought on Mike Grella who has scored five times this season. As the Leeds fans sang 'we only want one goal', Charlton scored a scrambled goal. It turned out to be an own goal, but I have heard two different versions from the media of who did the honours. Anyway, it was in the back of the net.

Reid hit the woodwork from a free kick following a deliberate handball which earned a yellow card. Five minutes on time were added on and Randolph made another great save. Shane Lowry received a yellow card for fouling Mooney but the subsequent free kick by Bailey was poor. After the usual agonising delay, the whistle blew and the celebrations could begin.

Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Jose Semedo. It was a tireless performance by the Portugezer who not did his part in defence and midfield but also forged forward in defence. Darren Randolph made some superb saves to keep a clean sheet. Rumour has it that he may be departing for a higher level club which would be a shame as he has been looking beter than Elliot. Sam Sodje made a serious error at the start of the match and just missed a chance to score, but otherwise he defended valianty. Christian Dailly was a rock at the heart of the defence, Frazer Richardson was really up for it against his old club and tore into the Leeds defence more than once, as well as combining well with Sam. Gary Borrowdale was very solid and put in one or two excellent passes forward, although we did seem a bit exposed on our left in the first half. Sam had an excellent game and used his nifty footwork against the Leeds defence. Bailey was committed and involved, although he did give the ball away dangerously once through a slack pass. Racon> put in some decent defensive work and at times had to fend off as many as three players in midfield. He also had a go at goal, albeit unsuccessfully. Burton was repeatedly pushed in the back and held back but go no protection from the referee. He found some of the long balls difficult to connect with. Fosrter showed some nice touches but was never dominant in attack. Reid posed a real attacking threat when he came on and asked some questions of the Leeds defence. Mooney at least unsettled Leeds with some of his runs. Akpo Sodje didn't create a great deal, until the vital goal.

Juneau the Soccer Cat gave the Hiss of the Match to the heavy shower of rain which soaked us as we waited for a train.

Crowd rating The bumper crowd of 23,198 was a little quiet in the second part of the first half when Charlton faded a little, but was otherwise strong. 8/10

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