I have to say that I felt really despondent after the 0-1 defeat by Burnley, to the extent that I delayed writing a preliminary report until this morning. I was disappointed by the Nottingham Forest result, but Forest were a much better team than Burnley. Indeed, the difference between us was really Charlie Austin who scored the winning goal.
Chris Powell changed things around for this match and it didn't really work. Admittedly, he had to change things around with Kermorgant suspended and Solly off sick. Dale Stephens was dropped, with some justification, and Button brought in for Hamer, again with some justification. However, it was the formula of three up front that didn't really work with Haynes uncertain about his positioning.
Once again, there was an almost complete lack of creativity with the midfield disappointing once again. We were often hesitant on the ball and too slow to it. The ball was also in the air far too much, particularly in the desperate closing minutes. I also don't think the condition of the pitch, which has deteriorated further, helps us very much. I know that both sides have to play on it, but I think that it discourages any attempt at flowing football on the ground.
After the game I heard some negative comments about Chris Powell on the lines of 'He hasn't got a clue' and 'I've had it with Powell.' One should always remember that any other manager would have to deal with the same bunch of players and Powell was reportedly prevented from bringing in all the signings he wanted over the summer.
Pessimists, always in abundance at Charlton, are already chalking up a loss at Peterborough on Tuesday. We have to remember that this is an away match, although the Posh have hit a streak of form. Hopefully, we will have Chris Solly back and we missed him yesterday as one of our few Championship quality players.
Arriving at Charlton Station, someone let off a very loud firework and the Boys in Blue set off in (moderately) hot pursuit and seemed to have got their man.
The sides changed ends at the start of the match, which always makes me uneasy. It meant that we weren't attacking the Covered End in the second half which is my preference. Burnley put the ball in the net after 11 minutes, but it was ruled offside. Wilson turned provider for Fuller, but his header missed. Lee Grant in the Burnley goal punched the ball out from a Jackson corner and then made a good save from a header from Fuller. Another Charlton corner was unproductive. Jackson was not far opff within an effort. An error by Morrison gave the visitors a corner. Fuller had to go off for treatment.
A Burnley corner led to an effort that was way off. The referee refused to give anything for what looked like a back pass to Burnley's keeper and this led to the move which created their goal. We had been giving Burnley too much space and Austin found plenty to power the ball into the top corner of the net from 30 yards out leaving Button with no chance.
HT: Addicks 0, Clarets 1
Charlton won a corner in the first minute of the half but it led to an eventual save. The hapless referee managed to fall over, giving some light relief. Burnley won a cheap corner. Wilson combined with Fuller but a Charlton corner was all that resulted. This led to a second and the move petered out in a throw in. A Charlton free kick was put over by Cort.
With the game entering the final third, Obika and Dervitte were taken off and Green and Harriott brought on. Wilson was held back by Austin who received a yellow card. Haynes won Charlton a corner which was caught. Lafferty received a yellow card for a foul on Fuller. Green won Charlton a corner, followed by a second. From a half clearance, Morrison found himself behind the defence but put the ball just wide. Another Charlton corner led to Morrison missing an open goal at the back post. The cynical fouling continued with Vokes, who had just come on, receiving a yellow card.
Charlton started an aerial bombardment as the minutes ticked down, but this artillery fire was unproductive. Fans kept shouting 'get it in the box', i.e., hoof it, but it would have been more productive to play the ball along the ground. Five minutes added on created no real chances, although Paterson got a yellow card.
Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Lawrie Wilson who showed real skill and determination, made some good runs forward and kept the ball on the ground. Button spilled the ball once, so he has something of the same problem as Hamer. He wasn't tested that much, but was perfectly competent. Whether he is any better than Hamer is doubtful, but it was worth a try. Morrison squandered two good chances to score and did make some errors. Cort was solid and caused Burnley some problems when he switched to the centre forward role late in the game. Wiggins got forward well and showed his pace, but was often isolated when he did so. Made an excellent last ditch tackle on Austin. Dervite was an improvement on last week and his withdrawal was for tactical reasons. Pritchard really struggled to make an impression and when he did get in a good position he failed to take advantage. Difficult to say whether he should have been wider or narrower, but he looked out of his depth. Jackson lacked pace and his set pieces failed to deliver. Some were calling for him to be taken off. Obika really made little impression and does not look like any improvement on Wright-Phillips. Haynes looked uncomfortable in his initial position and contributed more when the formation changed. Fuller tried his best but never really got in a decent shot on goal. Green did manage to play the ball on the ground and did make use of his long throws. That it led nowhere was not his fault. Harriott looked lively when he came on and showed some skill. He is definitely showing promise.
Juneau the Soccer Cat awarded the Hiss of the Match to Burnley's Martin Paterson who clearly had a very high opinion of himself as he charged around the pitch and then engaged in a cynical foul in time added on.