It was a roller coaster afternoon at The Valley as Charlton beat Yeovil 3-2. Charlton went 1-0 ahead within the quarter hour, but then Yeovil equalised. The Addicks then replied to give them a 2-1 lead at half time, but the Glovers equalised in the second half. The sending off of Christian Dailly galvanised the Addicks, who had been performing well below their best, and they won a penalty which saw Glovers charm merchant Paul Huntington dispatched for an early bath. Johnnie Jackson made no mistake from the spot to win the game for Charlton.
Yeovil did show some guile and skill which was at odds with their position in the table and they played confidently, perhaps because we allowed them to.
I left Coventry early in the morning, as I had been asked to go to Billericay in the morning for the launch of the Billericay Community Archive Group.
Charlton's options were limited when Wagstaff turned up before the game but was judged to still be too ill to play.
The match started with the teams changing ends which always worries me, even though we were playing towards the Covered End. Yeovil came out of the traps quickly and won an early corner. This is perhaps a hallmark of the difference between the Premiership and League 1: if the two clubs were in the same position in the Premiership, the two clubs would be playing cautiously for a draw.
Doherty was not convincing in the early exchanges, but Racon was impressive. Yeovil won a free kick in a dangerous position and then a second corner. The Glovers put in a shot that went just wide. But then on 11 minutes a good cross put in by Lee Martin enabled Johnnie Jackson to slot the ball in the back of the net.
Casual defending let Yeovil advance down the left and Andrew Williams scored, putting the ball in off the post.
The defence continued to give cause for concern with Doherty putting a poor ball forward and Francis playing a poor ball. Reid turned provider for Martin who put in an angled ball which was fractionally wide. The referee was making some odd decisions which generally went against the Addicks.
Good work on the Charlton left gave an opportunity to Racon and he took it decisively, putting the ball in the back of the net to make it 2-1.
Elliot made a good save. Lee Martin received a yellow card for a foul. Semedo lost possession in midfield. Lee Martin advanced well, but he should have passed the ball with two players coming in in a more advantageous position.
A Charlton free kick taken by Jackson led to a Charlton corner that was unproductive.
Half time: Addicks 2, Glovers 1
Francis gave the ball away. Reid challenged well. A dubious free kick was awarded to Yeovil against Doherty. Charlton failed to clear their lines and a ludicrous goal allowed the Glovers to equalise.
Dean Bowditch received a yellow card. Reid put in a good ball. Akpo Sodje was brought on in place of Fry. Christian Dailly was shown the red card after he was judged to have used the elbow on Sam Williams who crumpled dramatically in a heap. In fact it may well have been a clash of heads and Dailly was very reluctant to leave what Emma likes to call 'the field of play'. Reid was taken off and Fortune brought on to strengthen the defence.
Charm merchant Paul Huntington was sent off for bringing down the last man. Some moaners around me thought that Jackson had gone back too far to take his kick, but he had no difficulty in scoring to make it 3-2.
Martin was taken off in favour of McCormack. Benson received a yellow card for putting the ball in the net after the offside flag was raised. Elliot had to rush out of his area after he was let down by his defence and kick the ball out of play.
Five minutes were added on, but Charlton remained in charge with a free kick awarded for a foul on Akpo Sodje.
The stats show that we dominated possession by 59-41 per cent but had only two shots on target (presumably penalties don't count) and three off target.
Dennis Wise was reported to be at the game, but had nothing to say about his intentions in relation to Charlton.
The coveted Silver Bone has been awarded by Ivy the Terrible to Johnnie Jackson for his two goals and a good all-round effort. Perhaps he could take the captain's armband while Dailly is suspended? Elliot was not at fault for the two goals, made some good saves and commanded his area. Doherty was also a potential source of danger, loisng possession and hoofing the ball forward to the opposition.
Dailly was not at his best in this game even before he was sent off.
Francis is improving but there were some worrying moments. Fry was generally solid. Semedo did lose possession and make some false moves, but he also displayed moments of real skill and was a terrier snapping at the heels of the opposition. Racon seems to be coming good and his goal was well taken. Reid has his moments, but at other times he seemed to fade from the match, leading to some speculation about whether he was fully fit. Martin gave his all and had the confidence to make an attempt on goal from a difficult angle. Benson was not that prominent and never came close to scoring. The physical presence of Sodje was what was required when he came on a sub, although he did not create that much. Fortune filled the gap left by Dailly. McCormack performed his cameo role competently.
Hiss of the Match A short list of three was drawn up by Juneau the Soccer Cat: (i) whoever was responsible for insufficient turnstiles being open at the East Stand in Harvey Gardens; (ii) the Wurzels who gave it large to the stewards in the Jimmy Seed, (iii) and the winner, referee Mr Whitestone, who apart from favouring Yeovil, was overly fussy and stopped the flow of the game.
Crowd rating: One can understand the frustration when Charlton were not playing well after the Yeovil equaliser, but that it just the time one needs to boost the team's confidence by getting behind them. 6/10