Charlton have had to add to the nominations for goal of the season after Yann Kermorgant scored a scorcher of a goal to open the home side's account in a 4-1 victory over Bristol City at The Valley this afternoon. It had been a disappointing and desultory first half, but two goals from Kermorgant in the first five minutes of the second half sent Charlton on their way. The visitors pulled one back as a result of a Michael Morrison error, but Obika and captain Johnnie Jackson scored to seal the win for Charlton. Nick Pope had his first spell in goal for the first team after David Button had to retire injured, Button having come in for the injured Hamer.
Charlton finished in 9th place, although Palace made the play offs and Millwall escaped relegation. After the parade of players, Chris Powell made a heartfelt and emotional speech, emphasising how much the club meant to him.
It was an early start to get down to The Valley, but I had a good journey down making it from Coventry to the ground in just under two hours. At the East Stand entrance I bumped into two other Midlands Addicks from Stourbridge and Walsall and we discussed the defeat of Rick Everitt by UKIP in the Kent County Council elections in Ramsgate.
Although the first half was disappointing from our point of view, one could see why Bristol City were going down. They were hopeless in front of goal and in so far as they did get into the game it was through our mistakes. Next season we have to try and cut down the number of unforced errors and giving away unnecessary free kicks. Nevertheless, I thought that we had the better of the game in the first quarter of an hour. We had most of the possession and a nice swirling cross gave us an early attempt, but the header went over the bar. From a Charlton corner on eight minutes, the header went just over the bar.
Wiggins was called on for good defensive work, but this was his undoing as he went down and had to be taken off and replaced by Wilson. The switch of Solly to right back was unavoidable (Evina seems to be a missing person) but I do think that it disrupted the flow of our game.
The East Stand lino seemed to be unable to make fair judgments on throw ins and Morrison lost his rag with him. We kept the crosses coming in him, but there was no end product. Gower got his first touch of the ball. I know that some fans rate him and think we should sign him up, but I am more sceptical.
We mounted a good attack when Jackson won the ball with some skill, but Bradley Pritchard failed to provide the necessary cross but sent the ball out of play. Harriott had a run on goal surrounded by defenders. It was worth a try, but unsurprisingly was not productive. Gower received a yellow card for getting involved in the game and the visitors were awarded a free kick in a potentially dangerous position, but the ball came off the wall. Patience is not a virtue of some Charlton fans and the row behind me were becoming increasingly agitated.
The referee managed to add only two minutes on which, given the number and length of interruptions suggests that he needs a new timepiece or perhaps, like me, he wanted to get to the Man Ray exhibition after the match.
Half time: 0-0
Charlton started the half in style when Yann Kermorgant smashed the ball into the net, taking his tally for the season into double figures. It was good work by Harriott that started the move that led to Kermorgant's second goal on 50 minutes with the cross coming from Solly. Baldock trudged off, looking - as the Blackheath Addick - remarked as if he had joined the wrong club at the start of the season. Adomah came on and some think that the winger might be a useful acquisition, but to me he looks like one of those players who is very good when he wants to be, but at other times can't be bothered. A Bristol City free kick went wide.
Charlton won a couple of corners in succession, but Morrison failed to take a chance to score. It was a day when the Newmarket resident looked as if he was not at the races. Possibly Kermorgant should not have played the ball to him, but Morrison made a complete hash of it and Bobby Reid was able to put the ball past Button. It is this sort of incident that has stopped us being in the play off places.
Button had to be taken off and Nick Pope came on for his debut. A Bristol City free kick was unproductive. Harriott went off and Wagstaff came on. A shot from Kermorgant came off the bar, allowing Obika to pounce and score. Incidentally, it seemed to me that these two had a good understanding and were working well together, but I doubt whether we can secure Obika for next season when we will be operating on a reduced budget, it is said.
Wilson received a yellow card and the Bristol City free kick came off the wall but could have sneaked in. A good break led to Jackson making it 4-1 for the Addicks. Wagstaff was fouled and Charlton received a free kick which led to a corner for the Addicks. There was then a scramble in front of goal and it was a real puzzle while the ball failed to go in.
The referee managed to add three minutes on and Yann Kermorgant nearly made his hat trick, but the ball went just over.
Having won our Row Q predictions league last year, I was bottom this year, mainly because I was over optimistic in my predictions of home results. Some of those home defeats were really frustrating, but we can approach next season in hopeful mood.
Ivy the Terrible had no hesitation in awarding the Silver Bone to Yann Kermorgant for two outstanding goals and a determined performance throughout. Button was not really tested until he went off injured and fortunately Pope was not troubled too much either, although what he did he did competently and I know that a lot of people think he has real potential. Morrison is reliable and solid 99 per cent of the time and then he lets his concentration slip and makes a real howler like he did today. Dervitte was solid, although some of his clearances were a bit directionless. Wiggins was only on for quarter of an hour or so before he had to be withdrawn through injury. Solly then had to switch to left back, but showed his usual energy and skill. I hope he is still with us next season. Pritchard did not have a stellar performance and still sometimes to lack real Championship skills. He wrecked one potential opportunity. Harriott showed some real skill and made attempts on goal but they did not succeed. Jackson was a bit off the pace at times but compensated for this with a good goal. Gower was anonymous for a lot of the game, even though he provided the assist for one of the goals, but I wouldn't be looking to retain him next season. Obika was energetic and involved and scored a good goal. Wilson put in a reliable performance when he came on in place of Wiggins. Wagstaff did his best, but I wonder if he will stay with us.
Rescue cat Reg awarded the Hiss of the Match to referee C Berry who seemed to think it was all right for Callum Harriott to be held round the neck, but never missed an opportunity to make a decision in favour of the visitors.