Yesterday a pessimist said that given that we had lost 1-4 against Boro and Cardiff were top of the table, he was expecting a cricket score last night. Well in a sense he got one as the Addicks won a roller coaster match 5-4 to defeat the league leaders.
Cardiff went 0-2 ahead within half an hour, but the Addickted kept up their chanting, and thanks in part to errors by the visitors it was 2-2 at half time. We then established a 5-2 lead and the Addickted were chanting 'give us six'. But a sixth goal didn't come and there was another number six as the referee somehow managed to add an extra six minutes to the second half. Cardiff then scored another two and it was hearts in mouth time, but finally the whistle blew and we had secured three points and defeated the league leaders.
I'm sure there has been a scoreline like this at The Valley before, but I can't remember it and it must be one of the highest aggregate scores I have seen ever. There didn't seem to be much enthusiasm for Chris Powell's removal as the Covered End chanted 'Chris Powell's red and white army' and 'Chrissy Powell'.
The team selection, which included Morgan Fox, reflected the fact that we were reportedly down to 16 fit players. Playing Morrison at right back is a sign of the pressure we were under because he can't cross.
After three minutes Hamer turned away a shot from Noone, leading to a corner. Peter Whittingham's delivery was met by a glancing header from Helgusson to make it 0-1. Solly put in a good cross but Kerkar put in a desperately poor shot. Chris Solly won a free kick, but it was collected by the keeper.
Cort conceded a corner, follwed by a second. A header from former Addick Hudson bounced off the bar. Helguson's rebound was kept out by Hamer only for Mason to mop up the loose ball from six yards out.
Charlton's play for most of the first half was poor, while Cardiff were in cruise control. Charlton won some corners, but then on 39 minutes Marshall in the Cardiff goal spilled a cross and Jackson struck into the roof of the net to make it 1-2.
It wasn't clear to me how the referee managed to find two minutes to add on, but it worked in our favour as Hulse had a shot cleared off the Cardiff line and Jackson headed home from the corner.
Half time: Addicks 2, Bluebirds/Red Dragons/Purples 2
Cardiff, playing in their traditional shirts, came out of the traps at speed and a corner on 50 minutes went on to the roof of the net. Then Charlton won a free kick two minutes later 45 yards out and on the touchline taken by Dale Stephens. As the Bloke Behind Me screamed 'Too deep!' the ball went in the net to make it 2-3.
Poor defending by Cardiff allowed Haynes the space from which to head in an excellent cross from Bradley Pritchard on the 59th minute. Six minutes later Hulse was left unmarked to head home a Jackson cross.
The referee gets a bonus for every minute of time added on: that's the only reason I can think that he found six minutes, although I suppose his blizzard of yellow cards added up. This gave Cardiff the opportunity to score two goals and a late free kick set the nerves jangling.
The attendance of 15,764 was disappointing but understandable given last Saturday and the competition of football on television, but it was more than at Selhurst Park where Crystal Palace went top of the table.
The away game at Bristol City looks winnable and if we do win that, the 'Powell Out' crowd, who were drowned out by the enthusisam of the crowd, may have to pipe down for a while.
Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Danny Haynes who made some great runs down the right. Our performance started to flag a bit when he had to go off with cramp. If the keeper concedes four goals you have to ask some questions even if the defence is weakened and Hamer perhaps might have done more for the last two. There were also other occasions when he needed to come of his line and left his defence with too much too. Solly put in a storming performance at left back, but I would still like to see him in his favoured position. Morrison is not really well suited to being right back, but he did his best. Cort was a bit lumbering at times. Dervitte tidied up neatly and made some good interceptions. Pritchard was busy as ever and created one of the goals, but there are limits to his skill. Stephens scored one of the goals, perhaps a little fortunately. Still a question of a glass half full or half empty for me. Kerkar was denounced as a luxury player by the Bloke Behind Me and urged to return to the Scottish third division. Sometimes he does try to show more skill than he actually has. Some of us would like to have seen Jackson start at left back, but perhaps it is as well that he didn't given that he scored two goals. Hulse scored a goal and put the effort in, but I have reservations about him. Wright-Phillips had one shot blocked when he came on, but he still looks like a player who has not made the transition to a higher level. Hollands had a cameo.
Juneau the Soccer Cat had no hesitation in awarding the Hiss of the Match to the referee K Stroud for finding six minutes to add on and issuing a blizzard of yellow cards in what was far from a dirty match.