Charlton retained their unbeaten record in the Championship with a 0-0 draw with Hull City at The Valley this afternoon. Torrential rain accompanied by thunder and lightning made it difficult for both teams to play good football on a saturated pitch in the second half but the visitors stepped up the pressure. However, Ben Hamer made a number of substitutions to keep the Addicks in the game and after the game received the coveted Silver Bone from match analyst Ivy the Terrible.
Many of the Addickted thought that we should have had a penalty for handball in the second half, but I didn't really get a close look. In a game in which no cards were issued, Chris Powell made no substitutions, leading to a shout of 'Sort it out Chrissie!' from near me. Others felt that the failure to make substitutions refected the quality of the bench.
However, I am far from clear that they would have made any difference. The quality of the teams we are facing is far higher this season and it is to our credit that we are holding our own. The defences are much stronger and we are no longer faced with 'hoof it and hope'. We get much less time on the ball and are more readily dispossessed. For example, Wiggins was much freer to forage forward last season.
I didn't think we made a particularly good start to the match. We were getting caught in possession too much. Hamer had to make an early save, having been let down by the defence. After the quarter hour mark we started to put in some good attacks. Hollands put in a good ball to Wright-Phillips but it was saved. Wiggins turned provider for Wright-Phillips who drew a great save. Then it was Hamer's turn to make a save.
The last quarter of an hour provided more chance of scoring. On 34 minutes Charlton won the first corner of the game. It was played back in and headed over the bar. A second corner was played in and Wright-Phillips was only just off target. Jackson won the ball and Kermorgant drew a great save off Amos.
Another Charlton corner was followed by a second and the header was just wide. Then, as the half drew to a close, it was Hull's turn to have two corners.
Half time: 0-0
Lightning had already been seen in the first half and the second was dominated by the weather. Indeed, it now emerges that the referee did consider calling the players off. At Wycombe the game was abandoned after the stand was hit by lightning.
Hull won an early corner. Wright-Phillips appeared to have beaten the offside trap, his shot was saved, but Kermorgant scored off the rebound. However, the lino had raised his flag when Wright-Phillips first burst through. I did think it was very marginal, but Chris Powell was convinced it was a goal.
Wright-Phillips won a corner but it was unproductive. Hull took off Bruce (no relation) and brought on McShane. Then it was the turn of German 'wunderkid' Proschwitz who was replaced by former Arsenal academy player Jay Simpson who turned out to be more of a threat.
A free kick led to a Charlton corner. Hull had two corners and then there was the handball shout for a penalty. Charlton won a corner but the header was just wide. Simpson just missed when he should have scored. Hamer made a great save off Aluko. With five minutes added on the Addicks won a free kick which led to a corner. Hamer then had to make a double save to keep Charlton in the game.
Steve Bruce had to rush to the station after the game, but his assistant Steve Agnew said, 'A point away at Charlton is a good point. They're a good side and have a lot of momentum. They're going to be a tough nut to crack at home this season.'
Crystal Palace lost again to stay bottom on zero points, but have said they will be active in signing new players between now and the end of the transfer window as they prepare for their match at The Valley. The Massives beat the Spanners 3-2 with a last minute goal, but as someone said leaving the ground, a 2-2 would have been better.
Morrison did his job very well, showing that he has had no problems stepping up a level. Cort was under pressure in the first twenty minutes or so and made one fumble. But then he settled down and coped well, apart from one time when he had to be rescued later in the game. Solly read the game well and was completely dependable. Wiggins was more constrained than last season, but wsa still a potential threat down the left flank. Stephens needs to be quicker and tends to let the game go by him. Hollands had some really nice touches and passed well. Pritchard really got involved and made one excellent move down the right. A bit harsh of the The Football League Paper to say that 'quality of delivery often let him down'. Jackson provided a good free kick, but his corners were disappointing. Wright-Phlllips was really up for it and caused Hull all sorts of problems. A 'bon mot' from the Bloke Behind Me: when did we last have two Bradleys in the team? Kermorgant was in the thick of it again and increasingly got fouled as the game went on. Came close to scoring in the first half.
Juneau the Soccer Cat has focused on transport issues for the Hiss of the Match. People standing side by side is a frequent phenomenon on the tube at the weekends, but yesterday at Euston a middle aged shaven headed guy who looked as if he belonged at the Toolbox blocked the escalator by standing in the middle of it. Virgin Trains have had people rushing to their defence, but the train to Coventry ran slowly and was 20 minutes late with no explanation.