10 man Charlton defeated 12 man Bournemouth 1-0 at The Valley this afternoon despite the best efforts of referee Grant Hegley. The unjustified sending off of Jose Semedo changed the match and prevented the Addicks securing a decisive victory, but they held out to win all three points.
I arrived at the Rose of Denmark to see two ambulances and a police car in attendance. Apparently there had been a three car crash and the instigator had made off. When Argyle went 1-0 ahead at Southampton, there was a great cheer and chants of 'Green Army' in an appropriate accent. The final result was greeted with a loud chant of 'You're going to be sacked in the morning.'
Charlton started brightly and got a free kick just to the left of the D, but it came off the wall. Our first corner was taken by Jackson, as I think they all were, and I am not sure he is the answer in this role. The effort was caught by the keeper.
Reid was doing some great work and it was a cross from him that produced our goal from Sodje. Charm merchant Arter who had been declaring that he was coming to The Valley bent on revenge received a yellow card.
I felt that after the goal things went a little flat and the play started to become more scrappy. Bournemouth were starting to be more physical. Reid won Charlton a corner later in the half, but it was unproductive.
Half time: Addicks 1, Cherries 0
Arter did not re-appear after the break and was replaced by Michael Symes. Bournemouth were awarded a dubious free kick by the referee and it required good defensive work by Chris Solly to ensure that it was nothing more than a corner. The Cherries had a penalty appeal, but the referee deemed that it was just outside the area and it led to a Charlton goal kick. Ironically, the Bournemouth fans had been chanting 'You don't what you're doing' at the referee.
Reid broke away well, but should have passed the ball to create a real opportunity. Semedo was sent off for what looked like a reasonable challenge and 50/50 on the ball. The Portugeezer looked as if he was in tears as he left the pitch but was given warm cheers by the Addickted. I understand that the club is going to appeal and so they should.
After that it was really a question of hanging on to the lead and Charlton kept pressing forward well, Akpo Sodje winning a corner. Throughout the game Bournemouth's attempts on goal never really looked that threatening and they will have to raise their game if they are not going to go straight down again.
The referee looked as if he was itching to give Elliot a card for time wasting and added five minutes of time on. It looked as if he was going to operate on a 'play until you score' basis, but eventually he blew his whistle. Incidentally, it is at times like this that I miss the clock on the big screen. Even at Leamington we have a screen with the score and time elapsed.
A cynic might argue that the referee had been promised an all expenses paid weekend in Bournemouth, but no doubt he felt he was being scrupulously fair and is probably one of those referees who leans in the direction of the away team to avoid being a 'homer'. However, I don't pay to watch the referee.
I looked for our goal on Sky Sports News, but although even the thrilling 0-0 draw between Rochdale and Hartlepool was featured, there was nothing from The Valley.
Visiting match analyst Homer the Cherry Hound has awarded the first Silver Bone of the new season to Kyel Reid. He created the first goal and his pace always created problems for the Cherries. Elliot improved as the game went on. His kicking out was a little suspect in the first half and he failed to command his area, but in the second half he came out more and made one great block with his hands towards the end. Our centre halves look like a great pairing, Dailly was once again Mr Reliable and Doherty made good use of his head. Jackson slotted competently into the left back role. Solly looked a bit lightweight in the first half, but improved in the second, often outwitting the Cherries, admittedly not the most difficult challenge he will face this season. Semedo was excellent and one realised how good he is after he was sent off for a foul that should have been a yellow. McCormack fed Reid to create the goal, but I am still uncertain about him, although I made a note of some good work by him early in the match. Wagstaff may have been a super sub, but he looked less comfortable starting and we often seemed to be weaker on the right. Abbott didn't make that big an impression on me, but it's early days. Sodje at least showed he can score goals, but when we went to 4-5-1 after the sending off, he looked ineffective. Racon looked polished when he came on and made some nice moves. Martin has certainly got pace and showed a willingness to get stuck in. Francis is a big lad and looks as if he can do the business.
Hiss of the Match This was given by Juneau the Soocer Cat to Grant Hegley but she enlisted her sister Amber to give one to the East Stand linesman for his odd decisions.
Crowd rating The attendance was 16,236 but that included many season ticket holders still on holiday. Those that were there were in good voice. 8/10.