Although we only drew 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers at The Valley, I thought that this was one of the best performances I have seen this season. We played some good football and if it hadn't have been for a couple of excellent saves by Paul Robinson, we could have won all three points.
Even the Bloke Behind Me and his friends who normally have plenty of complaints about Charlton's players and tactics made no complaints, which must be a record. The Bloke Beside Me, Paul from Bexleyheath, was attending his first game of the season, having been away on a world business tour, and was pleasantly suprised by what he saw.
When I got to The Valley and heard that Ricardo Fuller was down with a virus, I feared the worse, but the forced 4-5-1 formation worked quite well, with Danny Green and Kerkar putting in good performances on the wing. Bradley Wright-Phillips put in a shift, but he is not a natural target man.
Perhaps one downside was an attendance of just over 17,000 on a pleasant day to watch and play football. Unfortunately we also slipped to 19th after Watford won away. Crystal Palace won at Bolton and Millwall drew at Burnley, but the Massives lost again.
Good news in the meantime about the signing of 19-year old midfielder Abdul Razak from Manchester City on a three month loan. He goes straight into the squad to face Watford on Tuesday.
The game had a rather curious start in that I didn't find anything worth writing down in the first ten minutes at which point there was the first meaniningful Charlton attack in which Solly was involved. Kerkar then put in a shot at an angle which was only just wide.
Blackburn's goal really came out of nothing with an attack in the right. As he advanaced, we thought that Etihu was marginally offside, but the East Stand linesman had a stiff arm and no flag was raised.
Jackson took a free kick but it was easy for Robinson in the Blackburn goal. Cort was pushed over and the referee pointed to the spot. Jackson put the kick down the centre and Robinson was able to save with his legs. However, chaos ensued in the Blackburn goalmouth and after 31 seconds Green turned provider for Jackson who scored, although Robinson seemed to head the ball towards his net.
Morrison put in some excellent defensive work. Kerkar won Charlton a corner. Solly stopped a break. A shot from Green came off the post.
Half time: Addicks 1, Rovers 1
Charlton started the second half rather hesitantly, as they had the first half, but their play over the period as a whole was much better. Good work by Jackson and Wright-Phillips won Charlton a corner, but the ball was cleared off the line. A Blackburn free kick hit the wall.
Jackson went down and had to be replaced by Pritchard. Scarcely had Pritchard got on the pitch before he was fouled. The free kick was in a very promising position not far from the corner flag but the delivery by Green was poor. Danny Murphy, to his great indignation, received a yellow card.
A defensive mix up nearly gave the visitors the chance to score and Chris Powell was going ballistic. Fortunately, the ball went just over. A Wilson cross produced a Charlton corner which was eventually cleared. Cort won a free kick. You would have thought a maths teacher like referee Deadman could have calculated that he should have played advantage. Green's effort was just over. Another free kick was awarded when advantage should have been played, confirming the referee's reputation as one of the worst at this level.
A Blackburn corner was saved by Hamer. Jason Lowe received a yellow card. A free kick led to a Charlton corner and in the subsequent play Cort put the ball over. Green put in a shot that many keepers would not have saved, but Robinson managed to, at the expense of a Charlton corner.
A Charlton free kick came off the wall. In the four minutes added on, Wright-Phillips tried a bicycle kick, but Robinson was able to tip the ball over. From the corner, Robinson had to make another save.
At the station I heard a Blackburn fan describing the match as 'Two mid-table teams slugging it out, but I think there was more it to than that.
Ivy the Terrible did not find it easy to award the Silver Bone as this was a team effort. In the end she gave it to Chris Solly who never failed to provide cover when it was needed and also contributed to the attack. Hamer did not have a lot to do and cannot be faulted for the goal. Morrison had a stellar game, although his positioning for the goal might be questioned. Cort was stalwart in defence and was a threat at set pieces. Both central defenders have been awarded a Silver Biscuit. Wilson is improving and his turn of speed was useful in relation to Pedersen. Stephens produced one spell of excellent play and was generally solid. Hollands did what he had to do, without really creating anything. Jackson scored after missing the penalty and had to go off injured in the second half. Kerkar had some nice touches, but his spell was probably in the last twenty minutes. Green was a threat on the wing, but not all his crosses were accurate enough. Wright-Phillips did his best, but it is no good hitting high balls up to him. His one real shot on goal came in injury time. Pritchard did a decent job when he came on. Evina had a cameo in injury time, a rather baffling substitution.
Despite some poor refereeing, there was only one candidate for the Hiss of the Match awarded by Juneau the Soccer Cat to Danny Murphy. He tried to disrupt the taking of the penalty, with some success, with his complaining and gave a tirade to the referee at half time. At least he went home with a yellow card and a chant from the Covered End about his wife's activities, other than her foray into journalism, to mull over.